One topic that constantly is under debate in the corporate design world is: “Who makes the final decision.” Does the designer, business analyst, information architect, developer etc? Personally, this has been a major area of contention. When it comes to design and the user interface everyone wants to proclaim they are Caesar. Can you blame them? Everyone wants to have a say in what an application looks like?

Believe me I have seen some crazy ideas about what a “good application looks” and functions like. Next thing you know you and the rest of your team are throwing around generalizations about things such as:

  • one color is better than another
  • one navigation is better for the users than another
  • one feature is more important
  • one bug is higher priority
  • design is secondary to function
  • one technology is better to use than another

That’s just a short list. It’s easy to see how on a daily basis we encounter these conflicts that can disable, disrupt, and derail a development team. If your team is larger then 5 people this can drastically change your time line. How can you eliminate conflict? Well, the short answer is you can’t, but there is good news. You can begin to identify your sources of conflict and the impending arguments and cut them off at the pass.

Now every once in awhile there are members of a team that are not “team players.” They have such passion and zeal for their work that they cannot and will not back down. Even after reprimands, and threats, and warnings. Your final recourse may be to remove the broken wheel from your team. This happens in corporations as well as independent design teams. Sometimes there is just no recourse, and if you are in that situation and have exausted all your other conflict resolution chances, do you have the balls to make the decision to transfer, or remove the problem?

Stay tuned for more on this topic.