Hi, I'm Dave Mulder. This is my website, where I write about user experience and product design.

Originally Published: January 9, 2010

Followup thoughts on what we know

Note: This post is a follow-up to last night’s What Do We Know About Design?.

A world in which designers and financial analysts do not give recommendations is a world in which those professions seemingly might not be needed. This is not really the case; rather, the problem today exists with the belief that these recommendations are infallible.

It is okay to have an opinion, and in design we thankfully have a way to test our opinions. By acknowledging our own ignorance, we can better communicate with clients and create better products for them.

Most of the time, our recommendations will be right. As we make more and more recommendations, our confidence grows to the point of infallibility. This is a serious problem; we are not invincible.

But what client wants to hire a design expert who is not willing to call herself an expert? Absolutely no clients want that. They want someone who is willing to make the leap and give them specific recommendations. That is the norm.

By breaking away from standard operating procedure, we can be better designers.

We need to pull back on our own expectations, rein them in.