How to Shake Analysis Paralysis

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a state of indecision? There’s usually a reason for it. It’s not because you don’t want to make a decision. More often, its because you’re not confident in the proposed solution, or you’re not confident you’re solving the right problem.

Indecision can be a big roadblock and I’d like to offer a few tips, from a design perspective, on how you can kick indecision to the curb.

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Choice of Design Partners 

1) Make sure they are problem-solvers. A demonstrated ability to execute highly creative work is important—but that encompasses more than what the final product looks like. It’s also about understanding and applying research, defining strategy, and designing brands that meet your objectives. With a true problem-solving creative team, you’ll not only be more confident in your design solutions, you’ll know you’re solving the right problems.

2) Make sure they are collaborative partners. Two-way communication and collaboration mean everyone is invested in the project and its success. You should be comfortable bringing your ideas and knowledge to the table, and your design team should be comfortable showcasing their ideas and experience, and working together to develop the best solution. In addition to building trust, you’ll build equity with your design partners as their knowledge of your company grows—saving you time and money in the future.

3) Ask about the creative process that will guide the way. Most designers have an approach to creative projects, and while the process may vary depending on circumstances, there are certain elements that are essential. They include gathering information about your company, project objectives, customers, competition and industry trends. This information means creative work that’s strategically-based, targeted, and effective.

Also, don’t discount a design that doesn’t blow your socks off the first time you see it. Every solution doesn’t call for “new and exciting” because “effective and relevant” often wins the day. This is what a tried-and-tested creative process will reveal.

As an example, I’ve outlined the L&A methodology here: 
a. Do our homework, then ask insightful questions and listen closely. 

b. Apply what’s learned to compose a creative brief, ensuring agreement on the problem(s) to be solved, and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

c. Develop the design, always supporting and reinforcing the brand story.

d. Present, then listen for feedback to further refine the design concept.

e. Implement the design and oversee the launch process. 

f.  Review the results with the client to continually learn and improve.

4) Understand how the design firm manages “the business side.” It’s essential to discuss and agree on the schedule, approval process, and budget up-front.

5) Assess the design firm’s level of engagement. Hopefully, your design firm is as passionate about your project as you are— you’ll get better work from people you want to work with, and who want to work with you.

If you have questions about how to solve business problems more successfully with good design, let’s talk. It’s one more decision you can feel good about.



Here’s a graphic by strategist Damien Newman about how design feels. Our job is to facilitate finding the straight line.