Design by committee is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, but what does it mean? Design by committee is often used to describe situations where multiple stakeholders are involved in the design process. A design team may be made up of designers, developers, project managers, business analysts, and even stakeholders. When many voices chime in to offer their opinions on how something should be done, each with its own plan, the result can be disastrous. However there are two sides of design by committee: good and bad.

Pros of Design by Committee

Alternative points of view

There’s a certain magic of design by committee. It can be a great way to get lots of ideas in one place, and it’s often helpful to have a balanced view from lots of different perspectives. Having multiple points of view will help you produce better outcomes because each member will see things from their perspective and offer suggestions based on what they know best—whether it’s graphic design or marketing strategy.

Less overwhelm

Having a team can take a massive amount of stress off your shoulders during a design project. You have more people to bounce ideas off and more feedback on what works and what doesn’t. There will be less pressure for you to get input from all different people at once, and you can take your time to decide what direction you want the project to go in. The committee person can also split up the work among other members or hire professionals for different jobs as needed, so everyone’s time and resources are being used efficiently.

More enthusiasm from the team

When your team is contributing to the decision-making process, they will feel more included in the overall project—and you’ll probably end up with happier clients, too! If everyone has their area of expertise and if everyone understands that each contribution is valuable, the level of enthusiasm will rise. Some people will naturally excel at certain things (e.g. graphic design, writing). In contrast, others may be more interested in other aspects (e.g. working directly with clients to understand their vision). It’s important for individual contributors to feel like their particular talents are being put to good use.

Cons of Design by Committee

Too many opinions

While it can be tempting to seek out the expertise or opinions of others while working on a design project, there is always a risk that a team member’s idea can come from personal preference rather than the goals of the design brief.

Although you want to ensure that everyone on your team has a voice, you also want to avoid having too many people make critical decisions. There is always a risk that a team member’s opinion can come from a personal preference rather than the goals of the design brief. Suppose you have several people working on the same project. In that case, each person’s unique perspective and experience can be valuable to the outcome. However, if all of those perspectives are conflicting, there is no way to reconcile them. This can lead to logjams and endless revisions, potentially delaying the completion of the project.

Confusion for the designer

It can be difficult for the designer to grasp how the client want the product look. This is because there are no set points of contact and no one individual making all the decisions. So, if the client is not specific about what they want, or if there are too many people adding input, then the designer will find themselves  in an overwhelming situation, forced to sift through every suggestion.

Designers will either throw in too many ideas or forget some of the suggestions altogether. That’s why it’s important that only one or a few people must be in charge of making changes to the design. This way, you only need to follow up with those people instead of constantly checking in with every member of the team.

Clashes in the team

There’s no doubt that designers are passionate about their work. But when it comes down to it, you are also just people trying your best to create something beautiful for your client. And while everyone has different opinions about what constitutes beauty, there are some things you won’t budge on as professionals: color schemes, typography choices, and page layouts. You feel strongly enough about these things that you won’t compromise them at all (even if they’re not exactly what you had in mind and cause trouble).

Conclusion

There’s no denying the importance of teams on big projects. They can potentially help good ideas to flourish and provide a more democratic and inclusive voice to the projects they are a part of. But there’s also a price to pay for all this, and it’s often that the team may lose focus. This problem is magnified when multiple companies or organizations are involved. Keeping everyone in check—and on the same page—can be a challenge. But if done successfully, it can make all the difference between an average product and one that makes history.

In the end, it seems that design by committee can be both a boom and a bust. The more people you involve in the discussion, the more well-rounded and flexible your design will be. However, as any professional designer will tell you, sometimes it’s better to leave the critique to the professionals.

Leave the first comment

Table of contents

Submit your RFP

We can't wait to read about your project. Use the form below to submit your RFP!

Gabrielle Buff
Gabrielle Buff

Just left us a 5 star review

Great customer service and was able to walk us through the various options available to us in a way that made sense. Would definitely recommend!

Stoute Web Solutions has been a valuable resource for our business. Their attention to detail, expertise, and willingness to help at a moment's notice make them an essential support system for us.

Paul and the team are very professional, courteous, and efficient. They always respond immediately even to my minute concerns. Also, their SEO consultation is superb. These are good people!

Paul Stoute & his team are top notch! You will not find a more honest, hard working group whose focus is the success of your business. If you’re ready to work with the best to create the best for your business, go Stoute Web Solutions; you’ll definitely be glad you did!

Wonderful people that understand our needs and make it happen!

Paul is the absolute best! Always there with solutions in high pressure situations. A steady hand; always there when needed; I would recommend Paul to anyone!

facebook
Vince Fogliani
recommends

The team over at Stoute web solutions set my business up with a fantastic new website, could not be happier

facebook
Steve Sacre
recommends

If You are looking for Website design & creativity look no further. Paul & his team are the epitome of excellence.Don't take my word just refer to my website "stevestours.net"that Stoute Web Solutions created.This should convince anyone that You have finally found Your perfect fit

facebook
Jamie Hill
recommends

Paul and the team at Stoute Web are amazing. They are super fast to answer questions. Super easy to work with, and knows their stuff. 10,000 stars.

Paul and the team from Stoute Web solutions are awesome to work with. They're super intuitive on what best suits your needs and the end product is even better. We will be using them exclusively for our web design and hosting.

facebook
Dean Eardley
recommends

Beautifully functional websites from professional, knowledgeable team.

Along with hosting most of my url's Paul's business has helped me with website development, graphic design and even a really cool back end database app! I highly recommend him as your 360 solution to making your business more visible in today's social media driven marketplace.

I hate dealing with domain/site hosts. After terrible service for over a decade from Dreamhost, I was desperate to find a new one. I was lucky enough to win...

Paul Stoute has been extremely helpful in helping me choose the best package to suite my needs. Any time I had a technical issue he was there to help me through it. Superb customer service at a great value. I would recommend his services to anyone that wants a hassle free and quality experience for their website needs.

Paul is the BEST! I am a current customer and happy to say he has never let me down. Always responds quickly and if he cant fix the issue right away, if available, he provides you a temporary work around while researching the correct fix! Thanks for being an honest and great company!!

Paul Stoute is absolutely wonderful. Paul always responds to my calls and emails right away. He is truly the backbone of my business. From my fantastic website to popping right up on Google when people search for me and designing my business cards, Paul has been there every step of the way. I would recommend this company to anyone.

I can't say enough great things about Green Tie Hosting. Paul was wonderful in helping me get my website up and running quickly. I have stayed with Green...