Great design is not you
Sometimes as designers we can wrap our entire self-worth into a single design or architecture. We become our design; any criticism about the design is a direct criticism about us. This just isn't right and leads to negative results. Besides, you are a lot better than a single design.
You might have become your design if…
You feel that any feedback or criticism about the design is directed toward you
You want to play it safe because you are afraid of what other people might think (also a sign that you are using your lizard brain)
You feel that you can't change it
You feel you can't improve upon it
You have trouble moving on to other design projects
If you are your design, then you and the design suffer.
Here are six reasons not to become your design:
1. You will be happier: you won't feel like feedback on your design is feedback on you
2. Your design will improve: you will be more open to great ideas
3. Your design process will be open: if the process is open, you will incorporate better ideas; the design will grow and improve
4. You and your team will operate at a higher level: higher level teams collaborate; being too attached to your design will create gaps
5. It will lead to success: others like working with objective designers
6. You can produce more designs: you are free to design if you are separated
I love working with developers and designers that realize this. In contrast, the few prima donna designers that I have worked with just cannot separate themselves at all from their own design which takes a lot of the fun out of the process.
To achieve great design, separate yourself from it. Give it a try. If you do, great things will happen. The earlier you practice this, the better it will be for your career.
What do you think? Do you have any examples or counter-examples? Do you have any other reasons why you should not be your design?
Be great and produce great designs—lots of them.