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Walking down a mysterious path I realized, it’s easy to wear and have a style, but there are those who constantly act against their wills, to create something impeccable, innovative, desirable, abstract and visually capturing, known as the design. As the time ticks by, the waves of continuously changing design keep hitting us with fresh new ideas & instincts every second. The inspiration of design can flow from the smallest of atoms to the peaks of the mountains, sometimes it’s invisible and sometimes we just need an eye to see it. An inspiration for designer is something that lies everywhere, but it is also something that only a few can see.

If you have ever worked on a designer’s project or any other open-ended project, you might be familiar with designer’s dilemma.

At the beginning of the project you have a lot of freedom to take the design or project in many, possibly infinite, directions. But you also don’t know much about the problem or the potential solutions, so making decisions during those early phases of the project is challenging because our level of knowledge is low.

You have the most freedom to make decisions when you know the least about the problem. But as you learn more, you become increasingly constrained in your decision-making and ability to change course.

Why does the designer’s dilemma exist?

Part of the reason is that solving design problems requires, to a significant extent, a discovery process. We have a lot of learning to do in order to understand all the in’s and out’s of the problem, its social and environmental context, interfaces, technical possibilities, and the appeal. So necessarily we must grow our knowledge in order to solve the problem. And because we do not have infinite capacity or time in which to solve the problem, we must pick and choose where to focus our discovery efforts. Those decisions lead to other decisions and so forth... and next thing we know, we’ve invested a lot in a given solution path, making it difficult to change course.

Typically, after considering several potential solutions, you select the one that seems best at the time. Then you add detail to that idea, analyze it, and refine it until it meets design requirements. The difficulty here is that we don’t know when or if such a process will arrive at an acceptable solution.

So next time you’re working on a new project for a client, remember that designer’s dilemma exists and there are preemptive steps you can take to, minimize if not, eradicate the problem.

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