As a designer

Sometimes the most innovative thing you can do is press pause

I don't know about you all but I would venture to guess there is something inside of you that wants to push, create, stretch, solve, conquer, define…move it down the line. You most likely wouldn't be reading this article about being innovative.

But sometimes the most exciting and innovating thing you can do is pause and go back to fix the things your system of work didn’t allow you to make right.

Whether it’s an activity feed (in my case), a payment flow or work flow you owe it to your users to go back and smooth out the rough edges of the experience you’ve created. You owe it to your team to keep tabs on the things that will need softening. You owe it to yourself to research if your previous solution to the problem is actually working.

Right now I work in a slowly beginning agile system of software development. We are learning everyday what it means to be in a sprint, on a squad and quickly collaborate on things. This is all super good but you can tell it breeds an outlook that is always looking to the “right now” not the “long road”.

It has been a struggle as a designer to not feel beat down or over looked when you have had to make so many compromises that you don’t even recognize the thing you designed anymore. To sit there and have decisions you are trying to make to solve the problem for both the right now and the road ahead and not take it personal. To know in your mind that this experience is only “just enough” and you will have to come back and fix it later. Oh, but the roadmap doesn’t call for any of that foolishness…just keep making and going.

I am not saying we are doing something wrong for always having those great ideas that stretch and push the roadmap. This helps the business and ultimately buys you time to live another day and create.

Sometimes the most innovative thing you can do is press pause.

To put speed bumps on your roadmap that allow you to take a step back and see where you are going by how well you took care of where you've been.

We haven't figured out the best way to do this yet. I believe everyone on my teams wants the best for the user, product and business. I believe we are all going in the same direction the best we know how.

I believe it’s the designers job to not get pulled under the swell of moving forward. It is our job to purposefully create space in our work and our direction so that we can gain clarity on what it is that we are actually doing.

I guess what I am saying is this is me pressing pause on myself first and realizing that I need help with a design process and hope that maybe you have some advice going forward.

If you would like to join the convo @wtrsld on twitter is me.

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