Group Consensus Is Like Ordering Pizza

Getting everyone to prefer the same design is a heck of a lot different than getting everyone to agree to one.

Group consensus is something we often struggle with in regard to clients. Mostly because clients are looking for that one design that everyone loves and wants to pick. However, once you get a handful (or more) of people involved, the likelihood of reaching that unanimity greatly diminishes.

With different perspectives, likes, backgrounds, cultural influences, what-have-you, personal preferences are most likely going to be different. Yes, there may be overlap. You may even have two or three people with the exact preferences on a design. But don’t be surprised when the design you pick as number one doesn’t end up as number one for the guy next to you.

Instead of focusing on trying to find a design that every team member loves everything about, we recommend focusing on trying to find a design that first and foremost meets the predefined business/design goals and audience and that secondarily can be seen as the best compromise of everyone’s individual tastes.

Now don’t misunderstand us. We’re not asking you to compromise on design quality; we’re asking you to compromise on picking what works best among what may be conflicting preferences.

For the analogy lovers out there, think of this like ordering pizza for a group. The likelihood of getting all involved to prefer the exact pizza choice is not high. With differences in brand, crust type, style, and toppings, there are a lot of different choice combinations that each of the individuals might have as their number one choice. When asked to work together to come up with an order though, most groups are able to come up with a favorable compromise. Person one may absolutely love mushrooms on his pizza, but he’s willing to forego those if person two strongly detests them. She may prefer black olives as her number one topping. Both of them agree that they like pepperoni along with persons three and four though, so that’s a commonality that makes them all satisfied.

The takeaway? The next time you are struggling to choose a design that everyone loves, try a different approach by evaluating preferences against the project goal, searching for commonalities, and bargaining a little.

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