Are design articles ruining your product?
6 years ago from Jake Fleming, Lead Designer @ Labelbox
Lots of articles popping up over the last couple of years about personas being terrible, how you shouldn't use them, most of which seem to reference situations in which the team has fabricated personas in the past, completely made them up, therefore going down a rabbit hole of shit solutions without validating whether or not their initial persona is in fact aligned with real user goals. Mind blowing stuff.
You could swap out the persona tool for any design tool in any of those articles and the outcome would remain the same. Use a tool poorly, get poor results.
Success/failure stories from companies trying various tools like personas, JTBD, BMC, etc. provide valuable insight into real companies' and designers' processes. These case studies are essential to the design community. They hopefully help us learn the pros and cons of these tools.
But, articles written by well-known companies and designers that shit on tools that actually do a pretty good job at ensuring a decent design as long as you use them correctly, are damaging to the design community, especially designers new to the industry. These articles limit new designers' perceived options for solving a problem, because of another team's failure to utilize a tool correctly. Yes, constraints are a good thing, as long as those constraints are clearly defined and understood.
Designers, give yourself options. Know your tools, their pros, their cons. Share your stories. If you use a tool poorly and it doesn't work, share that story too. But, don't try and sell your audience (who might not know better), that your failure should be a reason not to get familiar with that tool.
I'd love for this little post to become a place to find articles that actually weigh the pros and cons of various design tools. Please share any articles, books, pdfs, whatever, here that have been beneficial to your existence as a designer.
PS: I know articles that fall under the umbrella I've described above are only trying to provide a resource to the design community and I love you for that! I just want those resources to be as useful as possible, especially to new designers.
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