Emotions and design


I read this post by my colleague Jesse Friedman at Automattic during the week:

Don’t become emotionally invested in your design until the people who use it do

I often feel that most of my time studying design was spent learning to disassociate my personal emotions from my work and be able to look at it objectively and from the perspective of the customer – and it’s something I think as a designer one has to continually fight against. It’s very easy to just open up a new canvas and start designing something that looks great vs designing something that people will use – and don’t get my wrong – I’m not saying the two are mutually exclusive.

Just this week at WooThemes, we put out a ‘small’ additional page needed on the site – and that quote was very relevant. The success of the new design was enabled by the fact that no-one on the team involved tried to over-control their specific role or contribution. Everyone was open to input – or as Jesse said – no-one became emotionally invested in their specific contribution.

I think the same could be applied to MVPs as I wrote about last week – the more time you spend working on something – especially in isolation – creates a greater chance that you will become emotionally ‘over-involved’ in your design or product. Rather involve others, get feedback and stay open to criticism.