I can’t remember the last time that I went into a meeting with designs and walked out without at least a small scratch. Many times, we find ourselves trying with all of our might to win these debates, and ensure that UX thinking comes out on top.
When we debate like this, with the goal of ensuring that UX is the winner, what tends to happen is that we get so focused on making sure that proper UX is present, that we can lose sight of the ultimate goal. That is, figuring out the best solution to the problem at hand. We also tend to lose a bit of ourselves and this lack of perspective can knock everything out of whack.
So how can we walk away from these debates with a clear perspective intact and still ensure that the solution we come out with meets the project goals? Simple we stop worrying about the score.
When I was first starting to play sports, the thrill of the competition was enticing. All I wanted to do was win (because winning was fun, and was what mattered), but when I was in high school, one of my coaches helped me to see it another way. After one particularly heart-wrenching loss he said to me “Have you and has your team progressed?”. “Yes”, I answered. “Well then, who cares about the score?”.
And that was it. I stopped worrying about the score and started worrying about my own personal progress as well as the progress of my team. I then applied this to the many debates I face in this profession. I stopped making it about the score (was UX winning?) and started making it about progress for myself, my team, and our shared goals. Once I did that I was able to walk away from each debate a winner.