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Sick Design: Entitled Ego

Sick Design: Kingus Assum

(Latin: “Entitled Ego”)

“Ok, ok, ok I see where you’re coming from, but I’ve been doing this for 23 years. Just trust me, it’s not going to work that way because it just doesn’t work that way. Are you sure that’s what the actual data is? That doesn’t sound right.” Oh, oh… sounds like someone has the case of the entitled ego.

COMMON SYMPTOMS: 

  • Lack of feedback sessions
  • Design leads using the length of their careers over merit to defend their decisions
  • Teams that are reluctant to share their opinions because they are always shot down
  • Team develops a lack of interest on their projects


CAUSES: 

TREATMENTS:

A sad thing happens to a few seasoned designers. They begin to trust too much in themselves. They stop asking “why?” and rely more on their past decisions than the current data. That’s when they come down with an entitled ego.

It’s even worse when they use a long career span to make others feel inadequate or incompetent. Years of experience in design should actually make people more aware of their personal biases, and teach them to ask “why?” at every opportunity. 

Have the Tough Conversation 

If this person is on your team, it helps to have an honest and open conversation with them.  Speak up if  you have supporting evidence or data that a proposed solution falls short,. 

It’s never worth putting up with subpar work to avoid having a tough conversation. Whenever possible, try to promote an open culture that encourages experimentation, questions and candid answers. 

Are you the crusty designer we’re describing? Don’t worry, the fact you can recognize this shows you’re humble enough to make a few changes. 

Your experience is valuable, and you have the opportunity to create immense impact. Embrace, don’t shy away from, new ideas and new ways of doing things. This does not make you look weak or inexperienced. On the contrary, it shows that you are flexible, forward thinking, and curious, three hallmarks of a great designer.