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Criticism and two-way streets  

Great design approach by Des Traynor in this post:

Like Apple, Microsoft encourages their designers to create many different solutions to any given design problem. But picking an outright winner isn’t easy. It can cause arguments and standstills. The quality of resolution here defines the quality of the design process. Who gets to decide? Is it the loudest shouter? The most senior? The highest paid? None of these are correct by default.

Every solution is great in some circumstances and terrible in others. Design debates are best settled by inviting everyone to present their solution, but also explain under what circumstances their solution is terrible. Finally they’re asked to explain under what circumstances their colleague’s solution would be better. This is what Bill Buxton refers to as walking on both sides of the street.

This can be scaled down to a small startup team. When solving a tricky design problem, ask everyone involved to come up with some solutions, then get them to explain when their solution won't work, and why the solutions they didn't come up with are better.

The article makes several other interesting points.

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