A colleague sent me a link to a blog by someone leaving Google. The person joined Google seven years after it had been founded as its "first visual designer." He refers to himself as a "classically trained designer" and contrasts that to the other designers at Google, who had backgrounds in CS and HCI.
It reminded me why I have trouble working with visual designers. I deconstruct his blog to be saying, "It got frustrating not getting my way on the merits of my stated, expert opinion, but having to actually justify and convince non-classically trained people--often being asked to justify my decisions with USER DATA (how pedestrian!)."
I think technical communicators are grounded more in the social sciences and rely less on the kind of connoisseurship I find with visual designers. For example, I'm involved in fewer and fewer discussion where someone says "It just doesn't sound right to my ear." In most discussions I have with technical communicators, they have reasons and research to back up why this combination of words is more suitable than another combination.
Not that I don't work with visual designers who do the same. It's just that with visual designers I'm more likely to encounter the "because I have taste and you don't" rebuttal. (I have yet to get a good explanation for why Comic Sans is a bad font.)
Imagine going into engineering meetings and justifying my suggested changes to the UI labels by saying, "Because I am a classically trained technical communicator." Like THAT'S going to work.
My point is that I'm glad it doesn't work. I don't mind basing my decisions on principles and research that can be empirically validated. It's part of what makes me a professional.