Share before you solve it

There’s nothing I love more than bouncing ideas and questions around with a designer. Be it in a team, a weekly thing, a slack channel or with a colleague. It’s partly why I arrange the weekly design meetups at NHS Digital.

However you do it. It’s vital to share. And share what you’re working on before you “solve it”.

The earlier you share an issue or idea the more room you have to ask the right questions and get answers you can handle.

It gives you time and space to speak through your thinking. And to have that thinking challenged whilst you have space to change things.

If you’ve spent time iterating and fine-tuning an idea. You’re invested. And it can be hard not to defend. It can be hard to look wide again.

Your design may also be “publicised”. Other teams may already have started shaping their work based on your solution.

Your work doesn’t have to be well polished to talk it through either.

Recently I’ve talked through a range of design options to letting users upload a file to their GP. I had a few rough screens designed but all I talked through was a scrappy page and some arrows.

This helped a colleague challenge my thinking. And get to a better design.

Share your work before you solve it.

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