Hi Maarten and thanks for both taking the time to read this as well as to leave a comment. Yes, I learned a lot of stuff in school I didn’t think was a good use of my time until later in my career. In some cases, I had to learn things over again! :)
This is a great question and a struggle I am sure many designers face. When do you show something and how much work do you do before showing it? This really depends on the context. A half-baked idea is fine in a brainstorming meeting or when a team is stuck. It’s not fine when you are giving an unsolicited proposal. In those instances, you need to make sure you have thought through the idea and anticipated any arguments someone might have against your approach. So first, make sure you assess the context of your encounter with whoever you are selling this to. You might also show it to someone you trust first and get their feedback.
One other thing you mention is someone “not liking” your concept or idea. I think we have to force our teams to dig deeper than liking or not liking an idea. I talk about that a bit in this article under the heading of “Understanding the Reason Behind No.” You have really to force them to tell you what it is they don’t like. People have trouble verbalizing this so you will have to dig and keep asking questions. If it a visual design issue, that can be fixed. If it is a usability issue, you’ll want to know about it sooner rather than later.
I think you have just given me an idea for another article with this question. Thanks!