As a numbers-crunching, data-driven kind of guy, my immediate gut reaction based on someone else’s gut feeling to design something in a specific way isn’t any more barf-inducing than, say, eating a moldy bagel with asiago cheese. My mind immediately skips to, “based on what data?” And yet, I’m equally guilty of it.
I’ve designed my site (and this platform) to rid of the annoyances I find elsewhere on ze interwebz, namely that I just want to read the content, the written words, and nothing else. Some of the design decisions were based completely on my gut instincts. And it turns out, those instincts were correct. However, if I would’ve chosen to ignore the incoming feedback, I wouldn’t have grown it as fast as I did, because my gut instinct was completely wrong. I know this, because I started off by trusting my gut instinct … until I saw the data come in, at which point I had to do a bit of course-correction on the growth end.
So, I don’t think it’s as monochrome as data versus instincts, although it makes for a splendid headline, but more of a symbiosis between data and instincts. And cream cheese. The whipped kind. Because I’m that kind of guy =P