Ramblings about Design, UX, Process, Code... basically where my thoughts go when nobody else is listening. Est. 2009.

The Product is Bigger Than You

Working at a startup has changed my perception on several things and has shown me the advantages / disadvantages of making products at a Startup vs at a Fortune 50 company. Some things are the same and some things are vastly different.

One of the most difficult things that I've had to learn is the difference between owning a product (and guiding it from an experience standpoint) and collaborating on a product while not having any control. The stances you take and decisions you make when championing product and crafting it according to one overarching vision are more stuck-in. More absolute. When front-end and server engineers are commenting on gradients and button spacing, it's easy to get defensive. They haven't had ANY design training. What the hell do they know? Do they understand semiotics? Do they understand color theory? Why are we designing by committee?

Collaborating without control means you have to let go. Take all the input from everyone and show them what they wanted to see ...but show it right next to the solution that you think is better. Show it to everyone that had opinions. In the end, the one that is a simpler solution usually jumps out at you. The product is the most important thing - consumers don't care who had the idea. They want it to work and be simple and beautiful. Office politics are bullshit. Having grudges against coworkers is bullshit. Ditch the ego. Lose the attitude. Embrace options. Accept the fact that you're not always right.

Everyone hsa different experiences, but stepping out of the comfort zone of always being 'right' can make you a better designer and a better human being.

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