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Designer Bias – Its not your fault

In a previous article we talked about Designer Bias. It may have made designers sound like an arrogant lot. That may occasionally be true, but in all fairness, its not their fault. Its in our DNA. We are hardwired to rewrite history in our brains so that things generally seem rosier than they actually were. If you don’t believe it, talk to some women a year or two after giving birth to their first child when they are ready to do it all again. Then talk to other people that were there with them and see if the stories are the same. Here’s another one: Talk to some people that have been around for about 70 years and ask them about their childhood and how things were so much better then than they are today.

If you really want to geek out you can look up some actual research on remembering, but I think you get where this is coming from. I recently listened to an interview with Eric Ries (author of The Lean Startup) where he recalls losing a whiteboard that had everybody’s names tied to features for a new product. Then they lost the board. 3 years later they found it, and he saw that he received credit for some ideas that weren’t his, and totally forgot some really bad ideas that he actually did suggest. That’s right, even incredibly productive talented people experience this.

If you want to properly recall who came up with which design feature, write it all down. And perhaps take a cue from Eric and write it on something a little easier to reference in the future than a whiteboard.


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