Design Strategy
March 25, 2021
Ask How

Don't defend your design work, instead share your process.

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When a design team gathers for review or critique, less skilled designers approach critiques by defending their design (what I call the design result) instead of sharing their process.

A more skilled design mode is to wonder - how did this design come to be? To share the context, limits, constraints and other approaches explored.

A simple way to facilitate getting past the design surface is to replace your "why" questions with "how" questions.

Example: "why did you do this?"  becomes "how did you come to this solution?"

Two benefits of "how" questions:

1. You are asking about the design and not the person.

2. You are asking about the process rather than the result.

💡 Pro tip: If you are asked a why question, don't start proving your reasoning is sound; instead, answer as if you were asked a "how" question about your work.

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