How to Avoid the Dreaded Design by Committee Phenomenon
Do you have a small group of associates that you trust and value their opinion? Or is your sounding board comprised of many people who all have varying opinions and points of view?
Don't get me wrong, it's good to have friends and associates on whom you can lean on, but when deciding on a design, asking everyone to weigh in may not be in your or your business's best interest.
By relying on the crowd's wisdom, instead of empowering one or two people to guide and own the final output in the design process, it's possible to end up with a design full of good intentions that fails to satisfy your target audience. Here is why:
Design (and opinions) are subjective.
Nobody will have the exact same preferences, and somebody will always be disappointed.
You could show the famous Apple logo to your friends, and at least a few of them won't like it. People will always judge a design based on their personal preferences, which is the first red flag for a design going wrong.
Imagine showing your associate's logo concepts for your own business. You're going to get a mix of personal opinions like "I don't like the color" and "I prefer logos that look like X."
You might gain valuable information about your friends' favorite colors, but none of this will help you make the right decision about the new logo. You'll leave feeling more confused and unsure about making a final choice.
It's not about taste; it's about the customer.
The only opinion you should be worried about is that of your customer.
Every design you use in your business is ultimately for your target audience. How they interact with your brand is a huge deciding factor in customers making a purchase or looking elsewhere. Your website, visual branding, and content should be fine-tuned to deliver a positive experience.
Graphic designers, project managers, web designers, and software developers have various ways of dealing with the design by committee phenomenon -- no one is immune to it. It can even happen within your family unit when it comes time to redecorate your house or try a new recipe. However, here are a few suggestions to help in the process:
- Control the feedback. Instead of asking "what do you think?" which elicits a personal response, ask:
- Does it meet the agreed business objectives?
- Do you feel the target audience will respond favorably to the design?
Notice that these are simple yes or no answers which prevent feedback from straying into personal opinion.
- Test the design or plan with real users -- aka your target audience. This method can break the deadlock between those who have an opinion.
- Designate a leader. Find someone who has a greater sense of the vision and who isn't afraid to make tough decisions. Maybe that is you, or if you want to get perspective, someone on your team who can filter the feedback and narrow it done to essential items.
Getting caught up in a design by committee situation is not fun. Avoid it at all costs. The people involved with designing the project, website, logo, or product should be working toward a common goal, not competing.
If you are unsure on where to start with a new design for your website or logo, we have a team of professionals who can help. Fill out the form below and we will get right back to you to talk.