Design Is A Hypothesis

I listened to a podcast the other day where Jared Spool interviewed Jeff Gothelf on the concept of Lean UX. He mentioned something that is very applicable to where I find myself in my career right now:

Design is a hypothesis. No matter how great a designer you are, whatever you put forward is a hypothesis. So you need to validate that hypothesis both from a business perspective and customer perspective and so you want to minimise the time spending pursuing the wrong hypothesis.

As a relatively young designer, I have this inner conflict between protecting my first design ideas as the perfect solution and, putting that idea or concept out there so that it can be tested and validated as a hypothesis.

When Jeff made this statement I realised how liberating it is to present concepts as hypothesis so that they can be tested and validated first. It liberates me from trying to protect my ideas all the time and the constant fear of loosing them. It also liberates me from the idea that my value as a designer comes from the amount of unique and creative ideas I can come up with. There is nothing further from the truth than this…

My value as a designer comes from my ability to allow the people who use the stuff I make (with other people), have the best possible experience. And that’s something I’ll rather want to hold onto…