I learned that creating value in design means listening to others through customer interviews, in addition to thinking critically.
I don’t mean thinking critically in the traditional sense. I mean to literally think about the design in order to critique its value. We need to go after our design decisions with forks and knives so we can poke as many holes as possible. Once the holes are found, they can be fixed, and our pitch becomes more and more evidence-based.
This insight inspired a newfound zeal for customer discovery and collecting feedback. My attitude for this work drastically changed. I wanted to step into the customers’ shoes and justify the value of design through their eyes and their internal struggles.
This approach also allowed me to understand competitors from the customer’s point of view.