A quick reminder to iterate

Great design doesn’t come until round 10.

It’s easy to be a good designer. If you know the tools, and you have some taste, you can likely make something good. If you’re like me, and you strive for more, sometimes you stay up until 3am pixel-fitting icons on a first draft because you mistakenly think that will lead to great work. We imagine greatness will come from a linear process of perfecting and polishing the little pixels, but we forget to step back and see if there is a better direction yet to be discovered.

Only after you’ve exhausted all possible directions should you then take the time to get down to the nitty gritty. Great design is the result of an equally great process, and iteration is part of any great design process.

Designing 10 rough drafts in a day will lead to better design than finessing a first draft for a week.

Think of it like archeological excavation. They dig, but they cover a large surface area first, so that they can make educated decisions about where to go deeper. It would be insane to just pick a little square and dig down 100 feet hoping to hit something. Same for design. We need to cover a lot of ground before we go deep.

Iterate!

This was super short, but I hope it was helpful. You can see what else I’m up to over at ryan.menu. The more you share and recommend this article the more it helps people!