Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Designers

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”.

Designer’s Intuition

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.

Designer’s Judgment

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.

[polldaddy poll=”5270222″]

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.



elegant wordpress themes

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Buie Reply

    A fair amount of this article seems to be valid. You do yourself and your readers a disservice, however, by basing it on a completely invalid survey. First, Roller’s survey did not draw on a random, representative sample of designers (nor was it large enough, really, given the number of types), and thus cannot be generalized to designers as a whole. Second, he used as his instrument not the Myers-Briggs but a free online knock-off that looks like the MBTI but has not undergone the reliability and validity testing that the MBTI has. Calling those results “Myers-Briggs” types is misleading (not to mention a trademark violation). These two are fatal flaws in Roller’s piece. I recommend that you revise the article to remove any reference to it. His nonsense does more harm than good, and we should not lend it any credence. Our colleagues may justifiably argue that the MBTI itself has validity problems, but Roller’s kind of nonsense just makes it worse, and unfairly so.

    • anthony Reply

      I see what you’re saying and I agree that the knock-off test he uses is not very good, nor was his hypothesis that most designer types are ISFJ.

      I have added a poll in the article so that people can record their personality types. Hopefully we can get enough people to vote for a representative sample.

      • Elizabeth Buie Reply

        Sorry, but if you invite readers to “vote”, you aren’t getting a random, representative sample. You’re getting a self-selected sample, and especially in the case of personality their reasons for volunteering could very well bias the sample.

        Can’t be done, I’m afraid.

        • anthony Reply

          I think polling still helps to see what personality types people are. Your fear of bias is a bias itself causing you to ignore potentially useful information. Sure, people could select random personalities that aren’t the right ones, but most won’t because there’s nothing they can gain from that. And some may not even choose to vote, but that’s fine because there are well over 300 votes already covering all personalities. The poll may not be 100% perfect, but that doesn’t mean the information is useless.

          • Paul Trumble

            Equally important is that you are asking them to choose their type. That’s completely invalid. Myers-Briggs typing requires an instrument of some length to develop accurately.

          • Alexander

            I agree with Elizabeth, the value of a website poll presented in this nil. You’re getting a self-selected sample out of a the population of website visitors which isn’t random to begin with. Sure, you can have a poll for fun but then it should be clearly labeled as such.

  2. Melissa Palomo Reply

    As a summarization of Myers-Briggs this helps others to understand the differences of opposite creative and non-creative minds in the workplace. A successful creative is a delicate balance of thinking outside the box while staying within professional guidelines. Perhaps Anthony could revise the title omitting Myers-Briggs and use the four dichotomies as a reference to Myers-Briggs. Then we could all come to a happy compromise.

    ESFP 🙂

  3. Guy W. Wallace Reply

    No sense quibbling. All of this about the MBTI is invalid anyway.

    Second thoughts about the MBTI – by Ron Zemke in Training at:

    Here are four of the reasons researchers and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences question the test’s validity.

    See them at:

    • anthony Reply

      MBTI is a way to find order in a chaotic jungle of personalities. Although the order does not explain every little detail, the order is still there. What’s invalid is how people use MBTI and the method they use to determine it. I believe that it’s more accurate to use a classification chart (as seen above) than a question test. The question test is too complex and insubstantial. You’ll likely get different results every time.

  4. Rod MacQuarrie Reply

    It’s also important to be detail-oriented.

    PS: Your first graph is incorrect. The % of J vs. P at the right side of the graph doesn’t match the relative areas on the graph. You have them reversed.

  5. Amy Reply

    Quick point of correction: you associate feeling with emotion throughout the article, but feeling is not related to emotions, but rather decisions made via values and human-centered concerns. When you take the MBTI Complete, part of the verification process involves acknowledging that you understand Feeling types are no more emotional than Thinking types.

  6. Michelle Reply

    This is spot on, working with various designers in a team can be very emotional and challenging.

    I did the test and determined what I was, I will be passing it on to my fellow team members. I believe this will enable us to communicate better and achieve great success in GUI and UX Design.

  7. Kasa Reply

    Are these images your original work? Or are they sourced from some place else?

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Buie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *