While strong voices do a lot for design, there are times when they actually hinder the process. Ideas that arrive too late, that are too complex / simple or that are contextually wrong will slow down the process and create more problems than they solve.

Julie Zhuo, product vice president at Facebook, calls it "avoid the camel". In other words, you can expect a lot of odd bumps and occasional sputum when you get 50 opinions in a room on a particular product.

is interesting coming from Zhuo, who leads the development of products for a website based on collaboration, opinions, advice and criticism. So, here's his caveat: There is a difference between designing a horse per committee – which leads to the bad result, a camel – and using real team work to create the best possible result.

Designing alone can be just as harmful for product development as getting too much notice – if you expect to come out of an ivory tower with the perfect product in hand, think again- you. So, how can you bypass the limit between design by a committee and carrying out a project alone?

The Root of Design Problems

The greatest challenges in committee design come in three forms:

A wave of well-intentioned opinion can come from the wrong level.
Committees offer their opinion at the wrong time (for example, when it is too late).
A stakeholder or other party may give an opinion without context or context as to why your team made certain decisions in the first place.

Why did we "designed by the committee" in the first place?

Committees are a pillar in the business world. In a competitive business environment, companies operate on the idea that the more the product is viewed, the less likely it will be to launch a product with a fatal law. This seems logical – until we consider it in a practical application.

Committee design leads more often to too many mixed opinions – and to a continuous flow of finger that encourages collaboration towards a common goal but a lack of substance. When we receive feedback from newsgroups, consumers and our great aunt Shirley, all we get is a lot of confusion. More often than not, the design by the committee leads to a lot of features – but no basic intuitive user experience.

We say that when you have too many cooks in a kitchen, all you get is a mess. Yet there are five star-studded kitchens around the world that produce mind-blowing works of art that delight our taste buds – and they work as a team. How do we know what is too much and what is a team worthy of an art?

If we were to highlight one, it would be a team of experts working together. A sous chef can offer an opinion on sauce saucier, but they both went to culinary school and share similar expertise. You will notice that they do not give tasting tests to other guests when they roll their dishes.

When comments are useful – and how to ask them

Comments can be helpful – at the right time and by the right people. Rather than "design" by the committee, here are some suggestions for involving clients, colleagues and management in a collaborative and non-detrimental way:

Collaborating with Management

For comments from direction, take the steps:

Use the data . Chances are, you go to the top of the management on how certain features should work. In this case, the data are your friends – use both quantitative measures, such as behavioral data, and qualitative metrics such as market research to guide your position. Data wins arguments and allows members of management to make informed opinions that could result in useful comments.
Share early and often . One of the worst situations is to follow a path, and the direction tells you that you are completely out of the base. Here you have only two options: throw away all your old work (a waste of time and money) or try to integrate all the new management requirements into your existing product (which can lead a botched effort). While it's hard to show what you know to be raw iterations of your work, make it a habit to show your work to management at the beginning of the process. It is much easier to say, "How does it look at you? Am I heading in the right direction? Rather than downshift when management thinks you're completely out of place. This simple step allows your team to stay in sync with the goals of management.
Start with a wide reach . It is much easier to explore several early options, showing a lot of possible approaches and their pros and cons. Instead of presenting to management in a "yes" or "no" way with an idea, you might ask, "which is more intuitive for the user, A or B?

Talking to Colleagues

If there is a committee you can not avoid, these are your colleagues. The key to effective collaboration with your colleagues is to get multiple perspectives from the beginning. For example, although you think of intuitive design components, engineers may have trouble implementing them in a logical way for a user.

If we think back to our restaurant example, we know that an artistic dish comes from a collaboration between experts of different components – a chef designs a meal, a sous chef helps to achieve the goal. order, a sauceboat makes out-of-the-work and sauces, the cooks treat the individual components, etc. Together, this activity translates into a meal on your table – and you can bet they're talking throughout the process.

Your digital product is no different. You can learn a lot by talking to different departments and seeing how your vision will translate into reality. From there, you can make the necessary adjustments to develop an intuitive and quality product.

Working with Customers

Customers are a necessary step but sometimes frustrating of the design process . Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Take "the customer is always right" with a big grain of salt . In other words, give the customer what he wants, but not necessarily all that he asks. Do not fall into the trap of letting the customer design a product for you – remember, they hired you for your expertise and your willingness to do what they can not. A diplomatic way to achieve this is to bring back a conversation to the problem that you are trying to solve for them. Maintain focus on aligning the product with its objectives and results, not creating new solutions at each meeting.
Do not go on the defensive . At the same time, you do not want to stop a conversation by repeating what you said over and over again. If a customer offers something that goes against your idea, say, "It seems that something is not working here for you." Where do you think we can improve? "This guides the conversation to current designs and avoids imagining new solutions on the spot.
Guide the conversation . It's much easier to start a conversation with "today, we're looking for comments on site navigation," and then try to keep a conversation on the right track later. Try to minimize distractions and avoid confrontations on the road.

The Balance Committee Thinks With Smart Help

Having multiple minds working on a project is not necessarily a bad thing. When executed correctly, a collaborative effort can lead to a good result. Knowing how to talk to key stakeholders in your project can make all the difference.


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