In Website Design The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good

Just the other day I came home from a session at the gym … I’d gone off in need of a break from my desk, and the screen!

When I sat down to return to my current work I saw that my partner had stuck a post-it note on my computer screen, it read:

“The perfect is the enemy of the good”

I think he was trying to help me get over my ‘designers block’ I’d been complaining about a little while earlier.

Is this a familiar scenario?

You’ve sat down to write an article, outline a new course, design a new website page.

Things start off pretty well with a few notes, some nice sketches and some bullet points but then all of a sudden you realise that several hours have gone by and you’ve been fiddling with a font style, scouring a thesaurus for a word or clicking through numerous stock photo sites for some specific image.

You’re kvetching over the details!

This is definitely one of the dangers of being creative and also of being someone who cares about the details and worries how we are judged by what we do.

After I had laughed at the post-it … stood up and made myself a cup of tea … I reflected that indeed it is true.

I know that my heart wants to deliver 100% every time and, in the perfect world where time wasn’t money and no one had a budget to stick to, then I would never deliver anything I thought was less than 100%.

However the reality is that if we do spend twice as long perfecting the details then there is a possability that the end product will never reach it’s intended audience … for in that time frame won’t we just find something else that needs just a little more work?

Now I’m not saying ‘accept’ carrying out sub standard work …

but sometimes 98% is good …

I don’t think this is just an issue for writers, designers, or creatives but probably afflicts us all to some degree or other.

I certainly find that my clients often find creating the perfect website content difficult and find that they stall and have trouble creating regular, fresh content for their website.

I know that in the future I might just resort to sending them a virtual ‘post-it’ and you all know what it will say.

By the way if you are wondering who said this little aphorism first I believe it was actually coined by Voltaire but adopted by many, including the American Army … I suppose that if you did sit around trying to perfect your campaign … your enemy would undoubtedly win … and so too will your commercial competitor.

So if you have a website that you haven’t quite perfected yet … then bear in mind that your competitors sites may not be perfect but they are out there getting on with attracting customers.
You can borrow my post it note if you like!