by anthony on 07/23/11 at 10:00 pm
What personality preferences do you and other designers share? According to a survey by Michael Roller, most designers share the Myers-Briggs personality type preferences of intuition and judgment. This article will look at why the intuition and judgment preferences are so important for designers.
Intuition vs. Sensing
The intuition and sensing dichotomy demonstrates how people perceive and gather information. People with the sensing preference are more likely to trust information that is more concrete (i.e. understood by the five senses). They prefer to look at details, facts and tend to distrust hunches without data. Their focus is more on present time of “what is”, as opposed to “what can be”.
People with the intuition preference tend to trust information that they can associate with other information they have experienced (i.e. finding patterns within a wider context). They can understand and make connections off abstract information. Their focus is on the future possibilities of “what can be”.
The designer’s intuition plays an important role in design. Designers cannot transcend the web’s status quo without the use of intuition. The web continues to evolve and improve because designers have focused on new possibilities for the user experience (e.g. HTML5). This requires not holding on to “what is”, but embracing “what can be”.
Intuition allows designers to spot opportunities for improvement by discovering trends and patterns in today’s design. This calls for indulging the unknown that one cannot yet see, hear or touch.
Intuition is also important for designers because there isn’t always data available to confirm every design practice and technique. Therefore, designers need to spot the value and effectiveness of a practice or technique without having any results to analyze.
If designers were to dismiss every new technique or practice due to the lack of data behind it, design would stop growing and evolving. Design requires designers to go beyond the senses to spot patterns and relationships between information to realize new solutions and innovations.
The usability, accessibility and overall user experience of the web has greatly improved compared to many years ago. But that improvement needs to continue. Designers must exercise their intuition in order for design to see a brighter future
Judgment vs. Perception
The judgment and perception dichotomy demonstrates how people interact with the outside world. People with the perception preference like to keep their options open. They don’t mind leaving things undecided and unstructured. They like to work without rules, taking the outside world as it comes, while adapting to changing plans.
People with the judgment preference like to have matters settled. They seek order, organization and see the need for rules. They approach the outside world with plans before moving into action. They like to make decisions about their environment and not leave it open-ended.
If design were all art, the designer’s judgment would play less of a role than it does today. But design is more than art. Because of users, there are always goals in design. This creates the need to differentiate between good and bad design. Good design meets the user goals and bad design doesn’t. This means that design quality depends on how you define your user goals.
Designers have to use their judgment to plan and make decisions about user goals to test and design for. A wireframe is basically a plan before any design takes place. It is on the wireframe where many designers make their decisions.
There are many ways a designer can design an application or website. The designer has to make decisions on what’s good and bad for users based on the user goals. There are also certain best practices that many designers will follow for a better result. Following best practices and making design decisions all need the designer’s judgment.
There are many designers that like to leave things undecided and open-ended. They don’t like to commit to anything too early. But when it comes to design, time is of the essence. If you’re not making any decisions throughout the design process, you’re not making any progress.
Decision-making is an important skill that designers need to have. It’s not just about making good design decisions, but making them progressively as you go. Those that tend to sit on the fence treat design like art. But design is more than an art when there are goals and deadlines to meet.
Find Your Type
What’s your personality type? The Myers-Briggs personality type works in degrees like a scale. For example, if you strongly prefer extraversion, that doesn’t mean you’re never introverted. It simply means that extraversion comes a lot easier to you than introversion.
Sometimes the difference in degree between two preferences can be so small that it’s hard for someone to figure out which one they are. However, most people will clearly fall under one preference or another.
The chart below will help you find your personality type. Read the descriptions for each pair of preferences and think about which one fits you best. Pick the one really you are most of the time, not the one you wish you were, or have to be at work.
Work Well With Other Types
If you’re someone who manages or works with other designers, it’s important to know how to best communicate with them for greater productivity and happiness in the workplace.
The table below details what each preference responds best to when working with others. It shows what managers should do and not do to create a harmonious relationship with their workers.
No matter what personality type you are, your personality doesn’t automatically dictate your level of success as a designer. There are certain personality preferences that help a designer work better in their environment, but at the end of the day, everyone still has to work hard and smart to experience success.