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 preferences of intuition and judgment. This article will look at why intuition and judgment are 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 because designers focus on new possibilities for the user experience. This requires not holding on to “what is”, but embracing “what can be”.
Intuition allows designers to discover opportunities for improvement by creating design trends and patterns. This calls for indulging the unknown that one cannot yet see, hear or touch.
Intuition is also important 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 data 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 innovations.
The usability, accessibility and 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 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 a structural 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 best practices that many designers will follow for a better result. Following best practices and making judgments 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 judgments throughout the design process, you’re not making progress.
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 means that extraversion comes a lot easier to you than introversion.
Sometimes the difference in degree between preferences is so small it’s hard to figure out which one you are. But 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 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 manage or work 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 form a healthy relationship with their employees.
No matter what type you are, your personality doesn’t 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 the success they want.