Design Perfection Is Impossible and Self Indulgent

We often create things for self improvement, to help others solve problems or provide meaning in peoples lives.

In that sense everyone is creative or has creative potential. Including people who work on websites. From marketers, content creators to the technicians who write the code. New website projects all start with the potential to be successful for its audience.

No Place for Design Politics

This can be a fun process and treated like an art form. If design politics can be avoided then everyone can be part of the creative process including the user. It’s less about being perfect in a single moment and more about an imperfect evolution.

It’s surprising how quickly people forget design imperfections or maybe don’t even notice.

Utopias Are An Illusion

Invariably though, with website projects, the short term goal is to be perfect by the launch date. Then we can all go home! Well, that’s kind of how things often play out. There is a nervous push to a digital utopia that can never be reached. The end result is always a negative feeling of compromise.

But compromise is inevitable and should be viewed as a positive outcome. It’s an opportunity to improve and iterate based on longer term user feedback and ever changing business priorities.

Improve or Archive, But Never Discard

No creative work is ever a pointless exercise. It should be archived, rather than discarded. Ideas and assets that didn’t fit an earlier campaign can be rolled out at a later date.

In practical terms this might mean repurposing code or tweaking a particular design route that was originally rejected. Everything is worth something. It’s just a matter of timing, when data suggests a change of direction.

A Note on Perfection and OCD

I am a sufferer of Obsessive–compulsive disorder, which has advantages when it comes to digital. Particularly with programming and HTML template design. But when it comes to creativity or user experience I need to rein it in, allowing imperfection into my ideas.

Further Reading…

There’s a great article here: “Learning that compromise doesn’t equal failure” by digital product specialist Rebecca Peters.