A side note on the risk of having designers work alone: For higher design quality and productive, it helps to have more than one designer working together on a product. This may seem counter-intuitive, and defy the mythical man-month, but I’ve seen enough examples of 1 + 1 = 3 with designers to advocate strongly for it. Why? The reason is simple: designs rarely emerge fully formed. They rely on a process of iteration, with new inputs helping to support strong outputs. An important source of constructive input is critique from other designers. Designers working alone miss out on other people challenging them, pointing out ideas they might have missed, and collaboration so you get the strengths of multiple designers. Even without headcount constraints, we often prefer, instead of dedicating 1 designer 100% to a single project, resourcing 2 designers 50% to two projects. This will often yield higher quality work faster than a single designer working 100% and ensure that work on a team doesn’t grind to a halt if a designer happens to want to take vacation, or is out sick for a few days.
The secret here is to prioritize what really impact the user experience, what gives a negative perception and the causes for deviations. Users are essence customers for recurrent products, and because of this, the demand for quality is even greater.
I specifically hold an interest at this quote because that’s what I feel throughout my days working as an Interaction Designer. It doesn’t matter if your design is the best thing in the world. If you cannot convince people who will approve your work to get delivered, you might as well have not done anything.