Hiding Designers & Hovering Directors

Ryan Singer wrote a great short post on hiding your design process versus designing in the open. All the comments are intriguing, and I especially loved this one from Ryan:

[Regarding the fear of being micromanaged as a designer], the question is whether or not you want to learn. If you see design as a learning process, then you will want steady feedback to tell you how you are doing.

The first difficult thing most designers have to give up is the fallacy that their first draft should be finished and pixel perfect. Designers need the constant feedback loop. Designers need direction. They need help. Cooperation. Collaboration. They do not need to hide. And they don’t need to waste time crafting every detail of their version of a perfect first draft all at once. Design needs room to breathe and change, because everything affects everything.

The fear for the director is becoming a hovercraft. But if you don’t engage, you’re not really directing are you? You’re just managing. Those aren’t the same thing.

The designer’s fear of showing work early and often and the director’s fear of micromanaging are both rooted in pride. So what are you more concerned with? Being embarrassed or doing seriously amazing work? You can’t have both.