Design hygiene

Hi there, thanks for stopping by!

How have you been today? Moved a lot(ttt) of pixels and convinced a lot(tt) of people why *exactly* those pixels had to be moved? Yup, same here 🫱🏾🫲🏾.

It's hard to communicate ideas and propagate designs. It is harder when feedback starts flowing in when the idea isn't yet communicated properly. Although there is no formula/strategy to an "ideal communication," especially in a startup, a basic Design hygiene that has kept me sane so far is:

  1. Believe in the power of iterations

    Once a problem is identified, it does not need to be immediately solved. Give it some time, and try staying with the problem longer (as said by Einstien). Good that I arrived at one of the solutions, but have I fool-proven it enough? The excitement of arriving at a solution and rushing onto it often hampers far-sightedness.

  2. Presenting the work, a part of workflow

    "Design is not just what you create. It's how you communicate your ideas to others." β€” Michael Bierut

    Accept it or not, our presentation speaks about our work more than the work itself. It can make and change the way a design is perceived. Plus, in startups, design reviews are seldom formal; hence, the design file becomes a medium of presentation/documentation. I try to organise and annotate the file in a simple yet obvious way.

  3. Open to feedback at early stages

    Fix a mode of feedback and let it flow in. Admit to mistakes early. It is natural to make mistakes, which is why we iterate. I believe the way a feedback is provided is very critical to proceed with design, but there is only so much we can control on that end. Meanwhile, we can always control how we receive feedback. I try not to confuse feedback with criticism. It's always healthy to enjoy the productive conflicts that come with feedback instead of taking it on the ego.

  4. Go beyond pixels

    It never hurts to go the extra mile to understand users and product ideas. Questions like - what do our users feel about it, what seeded this idea, what the team is thinking about it, is there a new development in the idea, etc. The more we fuel our curiosity, the better we'll be able to figure out the design. I usually do that by being on top of Slack conversations, passively being part of discussions that may not directly concern design, and asking away things I don't understand.

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