Designing with your gut on a whim

Disclaimer: My experience with design comes from working with designers and not actually being a designer.

When push comes to shove if a designer has designed something on a whim, while it may be creative and include a lot of intuition, unless it is specifically targeted at solving a problem it may not do anyone any good, may be a waste of time and may not be good design.  If you’re going with your gut on a whim, those flutterings may not be butterflies of excitement for hitting on something that will be big; they could be a form of indigestion the outcome will not be enjoyed.

If the design is not accommodating a customer pain point, a business need, usability, or any other defined purpose, then it may just be design for the sake of design.  In other words, you need insight from customer data and insight from customer needs for design to really matter.

There are designers stuck designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing and designing… 

The aim is for perfection that is 1) not necessary and 2) not worth it and 3) not going to make a difference in the outcome, at least not a difference beyond delaying the product/service/website beyond its useful life and pushing past what early mover advantage one might have had.

I met a designer several months ago and saw him again recently.  He has been designing a product and website to perfection for over two years and neither the product nor the website have been made public and no potential customers have even seen it.  He wants it to be perfect first.  Its great to want to impress customers but its weakness to try to impress them without them seeing it.

I know it is hard to get something wrong.  The reason good designers do it is to get feedback, to understand feedback, and to work out how to adapt design based on feedback.  Successful designers do it and enjoy real butterflies.

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