Working as an interaction designer since 7 years I look at myself as “experienced” as I am not a newbie anymore and I definitely gained experience over the last years.
At the same time I look around and see how fast things are changing, new technologies and trends are developing. And I am constantly learning – which I really like as it keeps me fascinated.
But it also puts me in some uncomfortable situations – e.g. when I am asked to give my advice “as an expert” to a certain problem or a certain opinion. Sometimes solutions for improvements seem pretty obvious to me; sometimes not so much as I see several options and need time to think them through.
In these situations I got always impressed by people who could give a statement about “wrong” and “right” immediately. Those people made me think: “Gosh, what a genius, he knows EVERYTHING to come up with his judgement so very fast!”
By now I know: most of the times those people are not necessarily genius but talented sales people who know how to make a statement sound convincing. And in the end, his is what people need when they ask for “the expert’s opinion”: they want guidance.
I like to offer guidance – if I am convinced that my knowledge is profound and I have thought about alternative solutions as well.
That is why I like this article so much: Give it five minutes (from Jason at 37signals). I think no matter in what kind of situation you are asked for you opinion: give it five minutes before making up your opinion.