I love this quote:
“Do I want to really be great or just be seen as great?”
It was from an Andy Stanley leadership podcast on the importance of inviting feedback, whether ‘constructive’ or positive, in order to make better decisions and be a better leader.
I think this is also essential for crafting killer user experiences.
We are all aware of how ego can affect design decisions, and the resulting user experience. I’ve been guilty of it myself. After all, in the corporate design world, our performance rating is really only as good as our last “hit”…our last user experience we can claim as ours. This reality triggers our instinct to want our own ideas realized solely because it has our name on it, rather than inviting input that would dilute ownership.
What this quote reminds me is that by inviting feedback, we help the design, and more importantly, help our user become truly delighted when using our product to accomplish what they need to.
I can highlight past designs that really made an impact on users, and all of them were better because of the constant feedback we requested from other design experts and users. Every few days we would review certain pieces of the design and work to improve it…see if a panel can be improved, a flow simplified, data visualized, or terms clarified. We would also have ‘design blitz tests’ that brought in experts from various disciplines around the site and just ran through the newly developed UI to test out the designs in mass. We’d then collect the findings and work to improve the product through that internal design test.
So here’s my question: Are we ready to serve our users by dropping our ego and completely focus on making our designs great by inviting feedback? Or, are we more worried about being the sole ‘artist’ so we can fill our portfolio with controlled demos and screen shots that make us merely look great?