Ways of making a design decision

As a designer, I often and working on something and wondering how it will be received by the decision-makers.  I know how the intended audience will receive it.  (That’s my job).  However, how the non-intended audience will react is more complicated.  Many designers get depressed with this issue and just try to make the internal folks happy, even at the expense of the actual customer.  I imagined putting down sheets of paper like these below rather than the actual designs.

CAVEAT: If you have enough traffic for a design test, then you should do it.  (e.g. A/B or MVT)  However, if you sell B2B software with customers numbered in the hundreds, you can’t test in the same way.  Certainly building infrastructure to validate your design theories are good, but what if you are building a big app from scratch.  You have ZERO customers.  Testing is not viable anymore.  You can only work with focus groups that will lie through their teeth to you.

I want to understand how the decision is going to be made in advance.  That way I can prepare myself.

In my previous experience, I have seen B, C and D alot.  I hardly ever see A unless its a building/house architecture.  I think most products in the world are seriously flawed.  There are some great ones out there, but the majority is not.  The decision making process around design is the culprit.  However, I am unsure of how to break the pattern.  More thinking to come.

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