Title: Should Tech Designers Go With Their Guts — Or the Data?
Context: Can design efficacy be quantified by data alone? God, I hope not.
Synopsis: Data is a mere tool, yet it is often mistaken for truth. It can help to reveal truth. It can clarify the meaning of truth. It can reveal where truth lies. But numbers in and of themselves rarely (outside of pure mathematics) represent absolute truth. Truth is an idea that can be interpreted differently depending on context, circumstances, bias, perception, and emotion. Data is a cold, unfeeling representation of reality, but – as all armchair philosophers should know – reality and truth are not always the same thing. In truth there is beauty and poetry and art. Reality consists of traffic jams, Monday mornings, and overflowing inboxes. Truth is attained through insight, introspection, and iteration. Data requires nothing more than a spreadsheet to be understood. Let us not reduce all of the truth in the world to mere reality. Truth deserves so much better than that.
Best Bit: “As engineering and design become ever closer collaborators, the biggest challenge is to make decisions through a careful balance between data and instinct.”

via wired.com