September 26th, 2012
Recently, we’ve interviewed dozens of design managers about what separates out their best designers from the rest. One of the consistent answers we’ve gotten is “The best designers are passionate about design, yet dispassionate about their own designs.” The managers tell us they look for folks who get very excited and curious about creating great designs, but can easily walk away from their own ideas and work when it makes sense to do so.
This is an interesting dichotomy. It describes someone who deeply cares about producing the right thing and wants to learn everything they can about what that means. At the same time, it describes someone who can generate a lot of ideas without falling so much in love with any single one that they can’t drop it.
The design process uses iterations to discover new constraints and learn about the problem space. If a designer falls in love with a specific design too early, they can’t adapt to the evolutionary nature of that design process, getting stuck selling something that can’t possibly work.
Yet, that same designer has to show an unending curiosity for investigating the design’s problem space. They have to be relentless in how they approach the design problem, but be ready to walk away from any ideas they’ve generated.
Design is a team sport and the managers say the individuals who can do this are better team members. They work together to find a synergy in what everyone is bring to the table. They don’t sit with an attitude of “I know best what we need” and stubbornly refuse to budge from it.
Where do you put your passions? Are they in learning and exploring design? Do you get too tied to the work you’ve produced and the ideas you’ve though of?Tweet