Ask DN: What is something useful you have learned during your design career?

7 years ago from , Design Lead at Vincent

Posted this over the weekend and I think it got buried, so posting again since it's the start of the work week.

Something that I have learned over the years:

A completely new design and workflow is not always necessary. Designers often think "if I don't design something new, the client will be upset because I haven't changed enough." Your job as a designer is to solve problems through thoughtful design; if it isn't broken, don't "fix it."

What would be a good example of this? If you're working on a company's internal app that their workers use all day, every day, then you need to take that into consideration when making design choices. Change the workflow where it's necessary so that you can drive efficiency, but don't completely redesign other workflows because you feel like it's necessary.

Why? Because you can create more problems, such as:

  1. You're going to have to explain and attempt to justify to the stakeholders why you changed a workflow that was already working efficiently.

  2. If you've created a drastic change, the company is going to have needlessly spend money training their staff.

  3. You could be designing something that is less useful than what the users currently have.

Don't design just to design. Design to solve problems through thoughtful decisions.