People have been know to bang into lamp post and street signs or fall when there's a step to go up or down. Some people get lost in their directions and find they have walked the same street twice without realizing it because the first time, while trying to avoid everyone and everything. They missed a lot of sights, shops or landmarks their first time around but realize it when they pass something they had seen earlier but even that is confusing if it is a franchised brand and they don't know it.
Then there's walking in the day to switching to Phuket's nightlife. All of Phuket's bars & clubs have glittering lights many with pulsating loud music. All this makes the senses go into a state of confusion when walking around and getting your bearings. Just like the day, one may find you have walked the same street via a link way or one of the smaller soi's(roads) that connect them at night. In fact it is worse than day to recall where you were or turned before.
Best suggestion would be to get some form of Patong landmark as a main fixed point. Try remembering which way you headed first and which turns you made along the way. For first timers, it is recommended that you take your hotel's business card so you can explain where you need to go to if you find you are lost or forgot where you stay. Be careful about some shady taxi drivers that may take you for a long ride if they discover you are a newbie and the fact that your hotel was just ten feet away but you couldn't see it. Be prepared to lose some cash unnecessarily.