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3 powerful words for a designer

Unlock your design influence

3 powerful words to unlock your design influence:

“Something like this”

Designers bring ideas to life. But sharing your work can be nerve-wracking.

Design reviews are tense. Even the informal ones. It’s tense for both the designer and the reviewer. Saying “something like this” while presenting your ideas takes the edge off. It indicates that your design isn’t final (design is never “done”). And it allows you to distance yourself from the work.

Presenting your ideas invites your team into the design process. Disagreements will happen, but phrasing things as right or wrong can shut down valuable input. Using “something like this” puts everyone in a work-in-progress mindset. Remember, it's your team versus the problem, not each other.

Here’s how you can use “something like this” to go further with your team:

🧑‍💻 Engineers: Get their take on whether the design works, not just if it’s possible. Great engineers care about usability too.

🤹 Product Managers: Powerful allies that can help socialize your ideas. PMs are a force multiplier for a designer’s influence. The trick is to make them think that the design is their idea 😉

🧑‍💼 Execs - A variation of “something like this” is to ALWAYS present multiple design options (at least 3). And make sure to follow up with a recommendation. Choice makes them feel in control.

🧑‍🎨 Other designers - Honestly, this is the hardest one (for me). Designers get deeply attached to their work, and critiques can feel like a personal attack. Keep reminding everyone involved that feedback is about making the design better.

Actionable advice: Separate yourself from your work.

I tweaked this on Fri Apr 19 2024 03:25:39 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)