I come across people making assumptions and decisions every day that are based solely on their personal perspective.
In the design and interactive industry, this is a major problem.
Some people are really good at designing things for themselves, or people of a similar perspective. This is great, if you make up the major and only audience for whom you are designing for.
When I say design, I mean anything that someone else interacts with: website copy, API, UI, information architecture, etc.
It’s an easy mistake to make. We naturally want to create things that resonate with ourselves. It’s enjoyable and self gratifying. But, it’s very easy to forget who you are audience is composed of; what their preferences, limitations, skills and perceptions are.
It’s also very easy to justify your decisions by making a sweeping assumption that you are part of the audience, or that if you have a preference, certainly the rest of the world must!
Some like to design everything with a specific style. This is not very affective, and hardly good “design” even if it looks good aesthetically.
Do you really need to give a retro-worn look to that website you did for your trucking company client, because that’s your style?
Should you create a minimalistic design for a children’s daycare service, because it resonates with you personally?
A skilled and talented designer is versatile. They can empathize with their target audience and understand what makes sense for them. They deploy the aesthetic and functionality design that resonates with their audience, and not necessarily them on a personal level.
I believe naturally talented designers have the ability to go outside of themselves, and empathize with their audience. Walk in their audiences shoes. And if they deploy methods and tools like proper research, personas and scenario testing they can create things that are a joy to use and look at, for their intended audience.