What Gordon Ramsay can teach you about UX design

After once an endless binge spree of Gordon Ramsay’s shows, I was inspired by his work ethics, passion and determination that he put in to his work as a chef. He has all of the qualities that make a man, a serious professional at their job.

As a UI/UX designer, I think our jobs are very similar to being a chef in more ways than we think. A good chef is passionate to learn and pour their heart in to what they create, they always experiment with combination of flavours and ingredients and they are dedicated to the craft with utmost respect for it.

The world of culinary arts is crazy and amazing at the same time and it fascinates me how similar our jobs as UI/UX designers are to the chefs in the kitchen.

Learn, explore & experiment

A Scottish-born British chef, who speaks good french and has knack for blending tastes that reminisce different cultures in to a single plate. The guy can cook pretty much any food from any part of the planet makes you wonder how.

People who design digital products for a living, would have to be a big sponge for stuff that goes around them. Gordon has mastered his trade through years of understanding the cultures, tastes and the matrices that shape them. If you’re as passionate as Gordon, you would become a sponge for absorbing the arbitrary and let it help shape your output.

Transplant Ideas & Communicate

When it comes to the tricks of the trade, Gordon does not keep it to himself and become a selfish miser for ideas. He is a master implementer but also a sharp delegator. He recognises people’s strength and weaknesses to create a well synced team that is efficient and effective.

A digital product team might consist of people from different backgrounds that eventually are meant to bring value to the product itself. An uncoordinated and communication deficient team is behind project train-wrecks that later on down the road beg to ask for heavy damage control(which is a nightmare).

I personally come across a lot of people/teams that do not understand clearly what or how we do what we do. This poses a big question of if there is a lack of understanding in our value as UX designers within the team?.

So if you ever find yourself thinking that you, as a team-member is misunderstood or unable to understand or communicate the overall goals clearly, then you certainly need to know if the team is synced in together or if there are any communication barriers that need to be identified.

Customer is King

If you have seen any of Gordon’s shows, you might have caught him saying that client is right or something along those lines. Gordon believes that a business is built on customer satisfaction and that is how you eventually you make the dough. You can’t make decisions out of your as* and assume that since maybe you are a part of the target market and you like it, then so will everyone else.

It is important not to confuse customers with clients. Customers are the ones the product is meant for and client is the one with the initial idea we help ferment in to fruition.

As UX designers we have a responsibility to gather information and create blueprints for products based on solid and quantifiable data, This means we build with reason and every strike of the chisel has to be with purpose. We also need to understand the users, sometimes on a granular level in order to design a well rounded product that also respects the sensibilities of the customers.


“Kitchens are hard environments and they form incredibly strong characters.” – Gordon

Anybody who has seen Gordon in any of his fiery shows, knows that Gordon is one very confident individual who commands respect in the room. I personally find this quality crucial to the development of any skill in life. Without confidence you can lose opportunities that otherwise might escalate you.

The confidence to execute a plan as a UX designer is absolutely crucial. There are nerve-wrecking moments when you have to make somewhat irreversible decisions that have a significant impact on the product strategy. These times demand confidence to execute plans and not to hideaway or play it safe.

Build incremental goals

“I cook, I create, I’m incredibly excited by what I do, I’ve still got a lot to achieve.” -Gordon

Gordon has around 12 restaurants and have had 14 Michelin stars under his belt, including holding on to 3 from his signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, since 2001. For a guy of such stature you’d assume he might take a chill pill and retire on an island or something. But this guy is working hard and still on the circuit. This is a quality we all can admire and learn from.

I started off in the graphic design with designing posters and magazine layouts and jumped to the opportunity of designing interfaces for mobile products as a step up. I learnt the craft and the ins and outs and still learning since then.

Goals I think keeps our fire and passion alive, striving for more everyday.

Keep the passion alive

Gordon with all of his achievements hasn’t let the passion fade away and this is absolutely necessary in order to stay alive in the industry. Chances are if you are as passionate for UX as Ramsay is about cooking, you will always find a way to keep the fire alive.

One way to keep the hunger alive is to keep evolving and experimenting new stuff rather than locking ourselves up in a bubble. This keeps us on our toes and recognise our weaknesses (demanding improvement).

Have some fun

Despite Gordon’s fiery or mostly grumpy demeanour, He sometimes appears to be a very boisterous individual and does have a cheerful attitude in and out of the kitchen. Designers, I think can be grumpy individuals at times or just be found beating ourselves up over critiques and failures. Where it is room to improve it is also necessary to relax and not take ourselves too seriously.

There are times when we take bad decisions and beat ourselves up for it. But successful people like Gordon learn from failures and embrace them as an opportunity to conquer more.

Gordon’s exhibits perseverance, passion and persistence for the craft and there is a great deal we can learn and identify with as UX designers from this personality.



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