Marie Kondo never says “holy shit” when she sees a disaster home.

She doesn’t look around to her colleagues and say, “wow, this is insane, who would do this?”

Marie looks at piles of mess and disorder and says, “Yes, I can’t wait to help make this better.”

When you choose to be disdainful of others’ work, it reflects poorly on you. Pettiness is not a trait anyone wants in a design leader. Would you want to hear someone loudly disparaging work that you’d spent months on?

It’s easy to feel superior when you first begin a redesign. From your bird’s-eye view, you can see how it would be better with re-organization, different input types, fewer steps. But remember — what you see is the result of countless hours of planning individual features, and sweeping your hand across and saying “this could be way better” is just disrespectful.

How can you learn to be so politely optimistic?

  • Remember that a lot of real work went into the first version.
  • Think about the constraints that could have contributed to this design, such as time, technology, or different business goals.
  • Respect that different people have different design philosophies.

Marie Kondo teaches us to be grateful for things even as you discard them. Thank the original design for getting you started, and showing you how to do better. Then you can begin your redesign with enthusiasm.