What UX designers can learn from Disney

Walt Disney, the man who built the majestic Disneyland, was an ordinary man. Like you & like me. He had big dreams of opening a revolutionary theme park. And just like a dream he wanted it to be “the happiest place on earth.

What UX designers can learn from Disney

And you know very well how the story ends. He ended up creating the happiest place on earth. He turned his dream into reality with confidence, courage, and persistence. Would you believe he actually did it?

It was because of his vision that Disney gives an exceptional focus on doing things for customers. Walt Disney’s overarching philosophy was to benefit the ‘guests’, to give them a memorable life experience.

And this is exactly what differentiates Disney from their other competitors- an ability to see business from the customers’ perspective.

You must be thinking that I am digressing; that how might the responsibilities of UX Designers and Walt Disney have in common? After all, visiting an amusement park is an altogether different thing. Designing an application is a great deal.

Wait up, mate! It’s not just magic that keeps Disney on top. It’s something we all should learn as UX designers.

Don’t just fly; SOAR!

Disney didn’t stop after building the amusement park. He looked at the customer experience right from the time a guest entered the park- including rides, food, and beverages, accommodation, even shopping.

Not just that, Disney has a system that allows visitors to reserve rides even before entering the park. With Disney’s MagicBand, guests can reduce their waiting times in a queue.

No stressing about what to see when.

No worries about whether your kid will get to have breakfast with Mickey mouse or an appointment with Cinderella.

What more? With a MagicBand you can even pre-order food at the sit-down restaurants.

Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that incredible? Disney understands that people are coming to Disneyland to have a great time with their family/friends. So Disney takes it upon them to improve every aspect of customer experience.

Designers creating websites and applications should approach a problem in a similar manner- understand what the app is supposed to do, realize the problem that app has to deliver, and continuously take feedback of customers, refine your focus and deliver what makes your users happy.

Moral of the story?

Own it. Take the wheel. Be your own captain. Don’t let anyone spoil your sail.

Dare to take risks and beat yourself at it

Walt Disney was bold and he often bet on himself to win. His unwavering passion towards his work would never fizz out. He would channel all his energy, all his thoughts, devote all his time, and resources to turn that dream into a reality. He dared to dream the future. He said, “I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.

Likewise, a user experience designer should have this insatiable appetite for learning. We’re responsible to tell interesting stories and solve problems. The web is growing like an insane ocean. And there is no way it’s going to be stable. As UX designers keep yourself constantly focused on new designs, new trends.

Do your best work- Then try to trump it

Mr. Disney was a dreamer. He said-

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”

He would often ask his people to “plus” every experience. In order to motivate them, he used to challenge them to find an impossible solution. And when they did it, he asked them to take it a step further. So for every possible step, he would ask them to dig one more time and go a step ahead…and then another step beyond that.

This was to ensure that people were never stuck at GOOD or GREAT. But they went on to see the MIND-BLOWING.

So for designers, it’s equally important to go a step farther than the usual. Do incremental improvements if you want exponential results. Don’t be confined to creating ‘good experiences’. Aim for magic. Go beyond ‘great’. And even a step ahead.


“Magic” is made by eliminating the mundane and aiming for the sweet spot. If your design can produce that delight and entertainment in the life of people, just like Disney does- huzzah! You did it.

The impossible is possible if you are awesome.


Then, Dream, Wake-up, Get, Set, Go.

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