Great design is not you

Thursday, September 23, 2010 gc 3 Comments

You are not your design. In order to achieve great design, you need to separate yourself from it.

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.

You Might Also Like


Anonymous said...

Thanks. This helps me get through the week. I hope that you write more about design thinking.

gc said...

I have a product design series in the works that I believe will appeal to you.

My hope is that you will enjoy it and provide valuable feedback.

gc said...

Thank you @anonymous.