Good design practice is about changing your mind. What does that then say about individual practice, iron wills, and the like?

Michael Schofield
Sep 19 · 2 min read

One of the first a-ha moments many of us have who are interested in user experience design is that whole maxim that “you are not your user.” At the time it’s a profound wagging of the finger that after years rings a tad cliche if only because it’s on the tip of every UX designer’s tongue.

Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

It’s not wrong, though. In fact, we reinforce this truth adopting principles like being data driven, internalizing infinity-loop design models with quadrants dedicated to testing. Good design, we learn, is about accepting that you’re wrong, your stakeholders are wrong, your product manager is wrong, and — shit, when it comes to survey responses — your users are wrong, then evangelizing that wrongness until everyone adopts a design process that makes ya’ll a little less wrong.

What does that say about personality traits we, culturally, accept to be good? We applaud an iron will, but are frustrated by a stubborn one.

What’s the difference?

Remember that to change your mind and to follow someone’s correction are consistent with a free will. For the action is yours alone — to fulfill its purpose in keeping with your impulse and judgement, and yes, with your intelligence.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.16

This post was originally written for Stoic Designer. Subscribe to show your ❤.

Conditions change. New facts come in. Circumstances arise. If you can’t adapt to them — if you simply proceed onward, unable to adjust according to this additional information — you are no better than a robot. The point is not to have an iron will, but an adaptable will — a will that makes full use of reason to clarify perception, impulse, and judgement to act effectively for the right purpose.

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, The Daily Stoic

Craft virtuously.


Clapping or licking that ❤ in this issue of Stoic Designer is an easy, no-sign-in-required way to signal to the great algorithms in the sky that this writeup is worth a minute of your time.

If it’s easier, you can listen to Stoic Designer in your podcatcher of choice.

Remember that design is not art, but a practice.

Michael Schofield

Metric

High-level practical design thinking by Michael Schofield

Michael Schofield

Written by

User Experience Development Lead @WhereByUs. 🎙 Metric: the User Experience Design Podcast (metricpodcast.com).

Metric

Metric

High-level practical design thinking by Michael Schofield

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade