The fragile relationship between Ego and Design

Christopher Butler wrote a good post on the relationship between Ego and Design, and how to structure design feedback better. It’s called Your Ego Is a Bad Designer, and he starts by explaining why development projects usually begin to go wrong during the design phase:

Design—specifically, when we start making visual decisions—is the first point in a project when we begin to engage one another in emotionally vulnerable ways. Every point in the process is an opportunity to second guess who is in control? and how do I feel about that? but design lacks the social decorum of sales negotiations and the regimentation of information architecture planning that would otherwise provide some structure for handling these potential conflicts. There’s simply no way to anticipate how the client will feel upon seeing that first mockup, or how you will respond, designer, to that initial deluge of feedback.

He then shares his approach to sharing work with clients, and structuring their feedback in a positive and helpful way. I also like the way he makes us as designers responsible for the success of a project:

We don’t fail at design because we lack tools, time, money, or the right clients. We fail at design because we lack insight. We don’t fail at design, we fail our design.

For more on design critiques, see these three great posts: