Interesting blog post from Cap Watkins on aesthetics and people management.
I constantly hear from industry peers about designers struggling to think outside the box. In a world of ready-built design systems, UX problems that have already been solved elsewhere (so why not copy them?), and, to be blunt, an over-focus on UX skills over strong visual and interaction design, it’s now less likely that quality-focused design managers find themselves trying to hold a designer back from going way over the top and redesigning stuff that they should leave alone. Instead, they often find themselves trying to push folks to try something new, to not worry about the design system for a moment, to design something that makes the team feel a little uncomfortable in service of finding a better pattern or novel solution.
I am continuously curious about a design field that does not allow personal growth. As an economic model, creative services are fragile to the exact misunderstandings it is asking for (creativity). Any change by a curious practitioner will cause difficulty securing or keeping work. I wonder why the field is not interested in addressing this opportunity.
The semester just started, and I am excited to teach Creative Team Dynamics at Parsons’ Strategic Design Management program; this week, I gave my students a reading from The End of Average by Todd Rose
“Averagarianism forces our thinking into incredibly limiting patterns—patterns that we are largely unaware of, because the opinions we arrive at seem to be so self-evident and rational. We live in a world that encourages—no, demands—that we measure ourselves against a horde of averages and supplies us with no end of justification for doing so. We should compare our salary to the average salary to judge our professional success. We should compare our GPA to the average GPA to judge our academic success. We should compare our own age to the average age that people get married to judge whether we are marrying too late, or too early. But once you free yourself from averagarian thinking, what previously seemed impossible will start to become intuitive, and then obvious.”
—The End of Average, Todd Rose
Thank you for reading.