Reflecting on design decisions


#1

Hey guys,

I’m in kind of a battle lately. I’ve been doing most of our company’s new features and I’m the only UI designer in our team. I’ve built like a couple of processes a few months ago but looking at it now, I’m wondering… WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING!!

I’m wondering, is this a common thing? Usually it took me years to realize the work that I’ve done was actually not that great or on the flip side, saw my growth as a designer. Now this is happening on a monthly basis. When we reach the point after implementation and we’re testing, I have like 100’s of better ideas as to how I could have solved that but in that moment I did what I thought was best.

This is very frustrating yet good I guess, so now real question but would just like to know how you guys go about this cause I’m assuming that I’m NOT the only one not happy with some previous work?

Peace out!


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#2

hi @brendin
the same happens to me, I don’t know if this relieves your frustration.

I believe this attitude to the self-criticism and the never-happy/satisfied mood is part of our nature as creative people. We are always looking for the best balance between big scope and details. This grows exponentially if you design digital products. Anytime I browse apps like Dribbble I am feeling that my style is outdated or let’s say not so updated anymore.

So if I were u, I would start to do a design retrospective exercise, to understand why you choose a specific pattern or why u implemented a precise style for the presentation layer.

Last but not least I suggest to you to validate/share the “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING!!” with your colleagues and stakeholders, maybe you will find out that there are people in your team with a sensitivity for the design topics.

I like to think that the design process is a shared one and I don’t believe “design divas” can survive in these challenging days.

Go forth!


#3

If you don’t look back at your old work and cringe, at least a little, you’re not learning enough to keep yourself moving forward.

It’s absolutely a common thing, especially in fields where creative work is part of the job. All we see are the flaws and the ways we could have done better. In our minds, the strength our work is minimized, and the flaws magnified.

The fact that the pace of the problem is picking up for you is simply a reflection that you’re learning more in your professional life, which is great!

@dopamino, as always, has some excellent suggestions on how to learn from old designs. Definitely follow his advice.

Personally, my approach is to occasionally revisit my past work and write down what I did well, and where I could have improved. The act of writing it out helps me absorb the lessons, and forcing myself to see the positive aspects of my work helps me focus on how my strengths as a designer have grown over time.


#4

It happens to me all the time… with lots of things.

That’s human nature and the only time it should be considered negative is if you don’t learn from it.