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Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon

“The User is Drunk”…..the new UX paradigm?

     Perhaps you have heard of “Design Thinking” as much as it has been covered on here and in conferences like SAP TechEd, but I can pretty much bet you have not heard of “The User is Drunk” design. (haha)

     Part of my morning routine (and sometimes after wrapping up work at whatever time), I like to watch streams of people coding (ie. or TWITCH “programming” or “game development” channels). It’s fun to see “how the other half lives”. (haha) This morning, one of the streamers I often chat with left this video playing while taking a short break, and it really struck home with me in several areas. As provocative as the title may sound “The User is Drunk” is a good way of looking at your UX design.

     This is by no means an attempt to rake up clicks/views and/or spam/advertise you. Heck, I don’t even know who this company (or this guy) is. But I sure do like their message!

Key points for me….

  • A lot of the “stuff” on the web are just echos of real life.
  • Great UI isn’t there. (it is best when users do not realize they are interacting with a UI)…and to that end, your UI should be as “porous” as possible.
  • Guide users (by and large, they are “attention poor”….lead them….as SAP does well with things like “guided procedures”)
  • Say it twice (state key points 2 times always……state key points 2 times always)
  • Respect your users (your user is “drunk not dumb”…do not lie to them or attempt to simplify too much…..a user with 160 IQ that is drunk still has a 160 IQ…but just a lot less patience! hahaha)

For a 4 minute or so video, I thought it was put together quite well and made me think about what I build/design for my own work….so now, I am off to drink a few adult beverages and re-test my apps! haha Hope you enjoyed this departure from the usual SAP-centric topics.

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      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      Thanks for posting this Chris.  When I saw this on Facebook I immediately thought we should be looking carefully at this from an SCN 1DX perspective.  cc Jeanne Carboni Oliver Kohl Michael Braun Audrey Stevenson Jason Cao Gali Kling Schneider Matt Johnson Heike van Geel Hester Hilbrecht . And sure, why not also from a beautiful SAP UX context: cc. Sam Yen

      Author's profile photo Oliver Kohl
      Oliver Kohl

      Beautiful. love it 🙂 . Colin Krawchuk we need to have more Wodka in the office. Sounds like a practice for our Fridays after sprint end 😀

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Marilyn..I told Graham Robo that Will Dayble (guy in video) might be good to come speak at the Aussie "Mastering" conference. I watched a few other videos from Will, and they are excellent. He does one that really made me think of you and "Design Thinking"....

      MVP: Quickly Validate your Start-Up - YouTube

      A quote from this one that really caught me was...

      "With branding online...and with application branding....your brand is not what YOU tell people it is...its not the logo or the colors or any of that is what the USERS tell other people it is."

      Soooo very true!!! And I had never really thought of it that way before. haha

      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      A lot of users actually are drunk. And the programmers. The latter is the only explanation for a lot of standard SAP system behaviour.

      In regard to drunk users generally - bear in mind people coming home in the evening after a marathon drink session and then trying to use their computer to order a pizza online. That has to be easy to use for obvious reasons.

      Going back to drunk users during working hours, just go into central London on any lunch time and have a look in the busy pubs. See how many people wearing suits there are. All of them are going back to work that afternoon. And this is every day of the week.

      Amazing as it may seem, when I moved to Australia from London I had to stop drinking every lunchtime as it is not the done thing in Australia. I can't imagine the USA thinks much of people drinking on their lunch breaks but I notice when I worked in Germany there was beer on sale in the staff canteen for consumption with your midday meal.

      Cheersy Cheers


      Author's profile photo Joao Sousa
      Joao Sousa

      Drinking during work breaks is a funny topic because you have some people defending that occasionally it's actually better to be slightly drunk when you are working since you become more relaxed and let ourself do more radical things.

      Sometimes I drink a glass of wine during lunch hour, not a bit deal. It's a european thing 😀 .

      Author's profile photo Steffi Warnecke
      Steffi Warnecke

      Paul Hardy wrote:


      I can't imagine the USA thinks much of people drinking on their lunch breaks but I notice when I worked in Germany there was beer on sale in the staff canteen for consumption with your midday meal.

      Cheersy Cheers


      Well, you can drink beer in our canteen, too, but it's alcohol free beer. And in the canteen of my job before that, there was an automat, that contained bottles of different kinds of our beers, but those were only for the workers, that were done working for the day (like night shift).

      I work in a brewery (last job, too) and it's forbitten to drink alcohol during work. Lunch counts, too. 😉



      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      The irony is, when I watched that video I was drinking a bottle of Coopers (same beer the guy in the video is drinking).

      In regard to drinking in Europe, I have found that in continental Europe people drink small amounts all the time - I have seen French guys drinking a glass of beer in the Café before going to work, a glass of wine at lunch as you have said etc, but they never go bonkers like we tend to do in the UK.

      In the "Stainless Steel Rat" Harry Harrison wrote that "no-one thinks better drunk than sober" but notes that drunk people can sometimes solve problems by making illogical leaps that the rational mind is naturally incapable of.

      Or, to quote Ernest Hemmingway on the process of writing a novel - "Write drunk, edit sober".

      Author's profile photo Joao Sousa
      Joao Sousa

      There's "drunk" and there's "happier". Nobody works better drunk, but "happy" can sometimes be helpful, the problem is that it's dangerous especially in interpersonal relations. You become more talkative, but there's that fine line between fun and spontaneous and annoying.

      We had a seminar with our innovation people, and the "happy" brainstorming came up.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      So this video is about programming, coding and the user experience, not drinking.  Although drinking is fun to chat about, I feel strongly that a system or an app should be something that a typical user wants to open and utilize.  When I use some systems (e.g. ISP), I wonder whether the programmer was thinking very much about the user interface.  As software companies move more applications to the cloud, the user experience will be the most important factor guiding success.  Let's not overlook that.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Very good points. Moving to the cloud (or SaaS) solutions, this is especially important since it is not as customizable as traditional SAP customers are use too and you have to "get it right" for a much larger audience.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Trying to get Will Dayble to join SCN and come lend a bit of his thoughts here (and in the UX place/space). Fingers crossed. 😛