The cutting floor of design

All films have scenes that are great but are cut in the final film. These cuts make into a director’s cut version of the movie or end up on the cutting room floor. This same thing happens with digital design. With an iterative approach, with feedback and constraints — designs will change and the parts that some of us designers love might have to be cut. As long as the cuts are based on the evidence of the feedback then we must accept it and move on for the good of the product.

After all the cuts

Working on a product over time means that many cuts or decisions would have been made regarding the product direction. It is hard to remember all of the decisions in your head, this can lead to designer amnesia. “Why did we make this decision again?” While moving iteratively we need to remember to log what decisions were made along the way. There are many ways to document decisions or keep decision blueprints. With all the methods: a log, meeting notes, decision log — at the root of it all it requires discipline.

In the end, the best design decision may be the decision not to implement something.

How do you capture design decisions?

If you have any thoughts or advice, happy to hear from you.

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