Attachment to a design

Every designer has experienced this issue of attachment to our own design and art work, these designs can be simply a college project, a painting or working for a client/company. There is nothing wrong to be attached to our own work, as we all put efforts to achieve it.

Usually it is easy to tell if designer is attached or not by looking at the feedback stage and how receptive it is.

However, there are also people who don’t preciously worry about any feedback or critique, rather loved to be challenged. This doesn’t happen overnight and we need practice and understanding, just like every other skill. Feedback is integral part of the design process and leads to iteration stage, a key step towards refinement.

Constructive criticism is needed for everyone to improve and validate the work towards refinement.

Attachment to design builds up when a person works on a design for too long. It is equally important to spend quality time designing something but to bridge the gap often forgotten area is validating the requirements with stake holder’s regularly. Doing so will avoid a massive bubble of isolation and disjoint efforts from rest of the team. This also serve the key issue of getting attached to your own work.

People working in a team can also try different techniques like rotating work to a colleague, so that can be picked up with fresh pair of eyes. This does not only help validating but also help doing pairing.

Owning a task 100% is good to a degree but in most cases if we are missing access to stake holders and wait too long then design may break away from its original intent.

It is therefore vital to re-validate design work with second pair of eyes and sometime these little techniques (below) help massively with eye-opening feedback we didn’t thought about or missed.

To conclude, attachment to our own design work is natural, more time and energy we spend the more attach we will become in most cases.

Few tips would help to subdue this:

- Work in a bite size (sprint)
- Keep validating with stake holders
- Own work but remove personal feelings
- Switching designer/work
- Present to team for early feedback

If someone is working in isolation then take a step back and do a self-critique, ask questions like what if….. how about…? Why not try….?

No one has a mastery over exclusion of design ego, but when challenged with logic it should be accepted with full understanding and should help to overcome the attachment.

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