Say why instead of no to bad design

As developers or designers, most of us have found ourselves in a situation where a client or boss asks us to implement something that we know is bad. Bad for usability, bad for aesthetics, bad for readability, bad for accessibility, bad for any other aspect that is important to the project we are working on. The gut reaction for many of us is to say "No". But maybe that isn't the best thing to do.

In The Art of No, Derek Powazek suggests that the next time this happens, we try saying "Why" instead of "No". By doing so we will start a conversation that makes both sides think. Thinking about the "why" may make the client or boss realise that their request doesn't make much sense. It could also give you a chance to respond to it by acknowledging their reason for making the request and explaining why it wouldn't improve things. And it could actually lead to you realising that the request you first wanted to say "No" to isn't such a bad thing after all.

Try it. It's very educating.

Posted on May 17, 2006 in Quicklinks, Productivity