As creators, artists and designers you’re faced with decisions to make every single day. What medium should you use to create your vision? Does your track need more or less bass? With all of these choices, you’re bound to find yourself mentally stuck in a fork in the road with no idea of what you want to do or where you want to go.
Don’t worry though! We’ve found some great tips on easing the pain of making that decision. Here are three simple decision making tools that can be applied in the design process and in life by Paul Williams, founder of Idea Sandbox.
Pros and Cons List
What’s are the advantages of your decision? What are the disadvantages?
You can’t go wrong with the simple pros and cons list detailing the benefits and disadvantages to certain choices.
Scored Pros and Cons List
Scoring your list changes it from “which side has more thoughts” to “which side is more important.” Add up your tallies and see which side has the better score.
Created by Edward de Bono, PMI stands for Plus, Minus, Interesting. It takes the Scored Pro and Con to the next level by forcing us to think about the level of interest for a choice.
Plus are the pros. What’s good about the idea. Minus are the cons, the bad points of the idea. And finally, Interesting. What is interesting? What are the possibilities?
This chart is especially handy when brainstorming and you have ideas that are not really a pro or a con. Rather, ideas interesting to think about.
To calculate your PMI score add up your (Plus) + (Minus) + (Interesting) scores. Items in the “interesting” column can score as a plus or a minus depending on the implication of the thought.
While it is easy to think-up why we like or don’t like something, we don’t usually think about it from the perspective of what is interesting about the idea. Using PMI encourages exploration of possibilities that arise from thinking about it from three directions. It enlarges our view of the situation.