Decision Making for Designers

Design indecision is usually caused by either being unclear on why you’re doing something, or you not being aware of the future impact of your options. There are two pieces of advice I give to designers that allow them to get unstuck and take action: take two steps back, and map the future.

  1. Take two steps back. Take one step back and ask yourself why you are designing in the first place. Remember the goals you’re trying to satisfy. Is it to increase sales, social shares, or educate? If that doesn’t address your indecision, take another step back. Think about why those goals exist. What is the point of increasing sales? Helping the business grow. Why do we care about social shares? Building community. Why educate? To help customers live better lives. These are the roots that point you toward the right decisions.
  2. Map the future. For each option, note the impact it will have on your design team, your business, the competition and your customer. Next, specify the level of impact you’ll see in one day, one week, one month, and one year. This analytical approach of mapping out a 4×4 grid will force you to think through the ramifications of each option, showing you a heatmap of positive and negative effects that makes comparison much easier than the typical reliance on a pros/cons list.

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