How to Be Self Critical with Your Design Work?

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by: Design Translator

You can look at this in another way, as one of my friends like to call it “Don’t Bull Sh*t yourself”, if a work is bad it is bad. That leads to and another oldie but goodie or as what most call it “You Cant Polish Sh*t”.

I think one of the interesting characteristics of good designers is that they have this internal filtering system that consistently allows them to do good work. They intuitively know which of their designs are good, as well as they know how to keep going if their work is not quite there. Not only that, their standards of their own deliverables are very high and can somehow consistently deliver designs that not only hit the mark but also surprise the viewers.

You might argue that to a certain extent good design is subjective, but often the acid test is the general consensus so get as much feedback as you can. However a design genius would bucks this trend as he often walks the lonely path, but honestly if you are one, you properly don’t have this problem anyway!

So how do you know if you are still treading in the BS zone, so that you can then take the right steps to cross that line into designing success? Here are 8 tips to for you to consider:

1) You can’t explain the objective of your concept in 30 seconds or in a few sentences.

2) You find that you are changing your idea behind your design as a response to critique, as you struggle to justify it to your team.

3) You are still working on the same concept after 20 minutes, and can’t decide if its working or not.

4) You insist you can make your design work and it is really only about just rounding a few edges or working on proportions.

5) You don’t feel happy about your work but complain about the lack of time to do so due to many reasons.

6) You wonder when it is time to stop the designing part and do something else.

7) You stop designing the product or looking for the solution.

8) You let pride cloud your judgement, and continue to insists your design works even when everyone tells you otherwise. (Edit: This is in context of a designer working with other designers or in a design team.)

I always say, I rather designers shortlist their own work, than to get someone else to do it for them. In the end of the day, you will know when your design has hit the mark and justifying it will be easy. In the end, my answer to designers who always lament that they are not happy with their work is “why did you not take the effort to get it right?”

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