Saturday, March 08, 2008

Design is in the Details

Getting inspired to design that website ...

"You’re at the table with fellow designers, an art director, and a creative director. The large screen displays designs you’re about to collectively critique. This is the first time you’ll all consider the initial round of concepts. The designs go up, one by one, and the words begin to flow.

It’s a phrase you hear often: design is in the details. With design, paying attention to small details—and in some cases, obsessively focusing on “what isn’t right”—can take a design from “nearly there” to “there” and beyond.

I attend meetings in which designers present their designs—typically the first round of comps—for the first time. Half the time, the presenting designer shows a rough product on the screen, and they usually believe the design is 90-100% done. But to the detail-savvy designer, the work is only 50-70% there. You can see the groundwork, foundation, and feel of the design in front of you, but you know it’s just not finished.

The goal of embracing details is to get you to think critically and present the best possible design you can—right from round one. In essence, you want your design to be ready for a real client presentation. So how do you take a design to 100%? You need to achieve polish, ridding the client’s mind of any doubt that the design is unfinished. It’s all too common for designers to feel rushed: you’re under deadline, you’re under pressure. But if you care about your craft and your ideas, you’ll take the extra time, perhaps working late into the night, as we all have, and add the touches that you know will make your work really shine. You know that feeling you get when you think, “Oh, I knew I should have tried that”? Do it the first time it comes to mind. Don’t let someone in your design review bring up an idea you thought of first.

Tips and techniques fortify any designer’s toolkit, but I must stress that thinking critically about a design is as important as the tools and skills needed to produce it.

Here’s a checklist to guide and inspire you to get the site done, done, done. Leave no stone unturned and no doubts about the design you present—let it shine."    (Continued via A List Apart, Naz Hamid)    [Usability Resources]

In The Details - Usability, User Interface Design

In The Details

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