Don’t worry, there is always someone unhappy with the outcome of the project.Unknown author
How many times have you heard that? I know I did, especially with big projects. And usually it’s someone in charge saying that, a project manager, an account director or your team lead. It doesn’t feel that bad I know, it’s like a re-assurement of trust, it’s that pat on the back that helps you deal with difficult people and situations you might encounter in your project.
A re-assurement that even if you don’t come up with the experience you want, it’s still good for some people and bad for others right? So why are they telling you that? Is it about you or them? They want you to feel better because you wanted a great thing and didn’t happened? Or maybe they need ease of mind for their project, they need the project to be on time and on budget. It’s their re-assurement that nobody will break their comfort zone … well, nobody will ask in the middle of the project for a user research initiative that takes 2 weeks and costs $5k right?
We accept that tap because we’re humans and the empathic feeling produced it’s quite rare these days, but you also have to remember who you are. You are the Experience Designer, so go beyond these feelings and ask yourself why this happened. Why they need to reassure you? You already trust your work, you already know your good at this, why do you need this?
You never tapped their backs! You never told them that even if the budget is low and the time is short the outcome will still be ok-ish: some users will be happy, some users don’t. You never tapped their back, did you? No. Because your job is to design the best thing for your users. To strive for a visceral experience and try fighting these windmills that are pulling you back. Your job title has “User” in it, so act likewise!
Take action! This stereotype should not be a “tap on the back”, it should be sign, a trigger that something’s not right. Talk to the person who said that, go find out if the team is fine, if the stakeholders are misinformed or maybe your manager has some issues the you were not aware off. Tons of things might go wrong, find them out before it’s too late, or you will become a windmill and not an Experience designer anymore.
I’ll leave you with an amazing talk that helped me numerous times: