Design decisions

Designing requires decisions.

The choices you make can change the behavior of those you seek to serve. For better or for worst. And with choices always comes criticism. Never without.

We need to be careful about what criticism we choose to listen to.

It’s easy to look back and say we should have chosen a different route after we hit a dead end. Or perhaps, all we are hearing is just someone’s preference.

There is a reason we use the term backseat drivers—they are in the backseat. So, let’s be clear: You are in control of this project. You are the one making the decisions. Part of your job is to manage these criticisms.

Sure, we need feedback. Yet, most feedback isn’t actually that good. They are a glimpse into someone’s narrative and worldview.

It might be that the work you are doing isn’t for that person or they are not in the trenches. Best to not let it affect you from doing your work. Say thank you and get back to it.

And if you truly are getting great feedback, then hold onto them. That person that can look you in the eye and sincerely say, “I think you can do better” is so rare.

[Note: Most critics don’t get a chance to see what is behind the stage, they just see the final product. They don’t know what you know.]