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This chapter provided a foundation for understanding conflict. It started with two assumptions:

  • Design is, when oversimplified, a series of interconnected decisions.
  • A decision comprises two parts: the method used to make the decision and the content of the decision itself.

With that understanding, the chapter elaborated on conflict:

  1. When people on the design team do not have a shared understanding of a design decision, they experience conflict.
  2. There are three things that can prevent a shared understanding: misconception, ego, and disinterest.
  3. Conflict is healthy when it moves people closer to achieving a shared understanding.
  4. Unhealthy conflict is conflict for its own sake, and is usually caused by someone acting defensively.
  5. There are five types of resolution—persuasion, iteration, perspective shift, deferred decision, and common ground—but none of these is better than another.
  6. The real criteria of a resolution are the same as those for a design decision: Does it yield good design? Does it move the project forward?
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