How to Design for Your Worst Client: You.

Jun 1 2009 by Francisco Inchauste | 108 Comments

As a designer, doing work for yourself is probably the most difficult thing you can ever do. In fact, most dread it. To add to the pressure, creating an online presence is not only vital to get right, it has to be the best. After all, if you can’t prove your skills on your own website then how can you expect someone to hire you?

How to Design for Your Worst Client: You.

In this article we’ll examine the barriers that hinder designing for yourself and reveal 10 rules to help you create the best design for yourself. Together we’ll squash that dark side in all of us.

The struggle within

As depicted in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the duality of human nature has been a fascinating subject throughout history. Duality is the exploration of good and evil, or in this article, the inner conflict of the creative person. As a designer this struggle within is something that can be a very powerful tool, if you can learn to control it.

Rule #1: Final destination

When you get in your car do you just start driving and hope you get to the right place? No. You would know where you want to go. Same thing goes for your website. Ask yourself what you would like the results to be. Don’t be vague and say "A cool site." It might be to show clients you think through the user experience. It could be to get recognition on some galleries. Maybe you just want a place to experiment and collaborate with other designers. It should be a condensed and focused idea of the overall goal for your site.

Rule #2: Create order

In the Mad Max movies there are no rules and anything goes. This is what happens when you have no order. Pure chaos. The first step is to create some boundaries. Some say make it a real project with a deadline. I don’t think self-imposed deadlines work. Deadlines restrict you and curb creativity. You will be thinking more about the deadline and be more apt to move it if it keeps getting in the way. So dump that.

Mel Gibson.

Define the tasks to meet your above goal. That means outline the specific pages (For example: home, blog, portfolio, about, contact). Define what you want to see at the end of the project.

Rule #3: Content is king

Be as specific as you can on what you would like on each page. That means decide on the content first. I know, it’s a design portfolio. You need something to design though. How many times has a client had you design something without saying what content they want on there, or saying they will get it to you soon (meaning the day before it goes live). Don’t do this to you.

You don’t have to write every line but decide if you’ll have links in the footer, a big bio on the about page, or maybe what items you’ll start out with in your folio section.

Rule #4: Stop comparing

There is always someone better than you. Always. But remember: That person’s first few websites sucked. Not only did they suck, they might have been the worst website ever created. So why are you trying so hard to have the best website ever in one shot? You won’t get better unless you start making your own sites.

Stop using other websites as a crutch while you aimlessly wander looking for something to spark an idea. Since you have your goals defined and know what content you want, you can quickly move along until you find the elements that match your needs. Then STOP looking.

Rule #5: Inspiration perspiration

Sometimes it’s hard to get inspired. It might be because many designers work for agencies all day creating work for others, then get home and don’t feel like sitting in front of the computer. Or they just might feel like they can’t come up with something that is original.

Go to the museum, catch a movie, or just get outside. It will give you a break and might help you find some new ideas. Everyone goes to many of the same places online to get inspired. That might be why you feel like you can’t come up with that great idea that no one has ever seen. You’re looking in the same place as the rest of the design world. Try something else and don’t force yourself to be inspired, let it happen on its own.

Rule #6: Bulletproof Brand

Here is one of the most important things that I have discovered: There is no one like you. That probably sounds like an after-school special. Well, it’s true.

How to Design for the Worst Client: You.

The brand you create shouldn’t be based on only design elements (logo and colors). It should reflect your personality and the way you want to express yourself. It might be bold and modern, with an element of surprise. You can take that and build a brand design around that. Your brand is personal, it should come from you and not something you’ve seen. Trends mostly die so avoid those at all costs.

Once you establish your brand you can’t put holes in it. It’s bulletproof after all. Become the best designer of that brand style. Use that foundation for this site and future versions of your site. It will make things so much easier when you know who you are.

Rule #7: Perfection is infinite

Now it’s time to get rid of the inner critic. If you keep hearing someone tell you it is not good enough, then they aren’t worth listening to (this includes outside of your head too). Let’s get real. You can keep designing for the next few years and still won’t be satisfied. After you have defined all the previous rules you will have molded your site and style so well that it will be so much easier to get to the design you are looking for.

Accept your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Designers by nature love what they do and are connected to their work. With everything you do you are giving your all to it. You can’t give anymore and if you don’t put something out there you’ll never get feedback or see the results. Without that experience there is no growth to becoming a better designer. Don’t forget the best designers have all had failures to know what not to do in their work.

Rule #8: The right one

So how do you know it’s the right one? When has it been long enough? Let your designs "ferment" for a few days and come back to them. When you look at them again and feel that they are still good or even better, then you are on the right track.

How to Design for the Worst Client: You.

Daniel: "But how do I know if my picture’s the right one?"

Miyagi: "If comes from inside you, always right one."

-From Karate Kid

Rule #9: You are not a creative genius

Designer’s Block happens to the best of us. I found a TED talk about creativity a while back. The speaker is author Elizabeth Gilbert. She talks about how creative inspiration or "genius" might be something that does not come from within, but rather is given to us by something outside of us. Somewhat like a Muse from Greek mythology. That takes away the pressure from the creative person to not be so hard on ourselves for coming up with brilliance every time. It really changed my personal perspective on creativity and how to deal with things when design ideas aren’t flowing.

- Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity.

Rule #10: Use The Force

How to Design for the Worst Client: You.

Together these rules are very powerful ways of overcoming the inner struggles of designing for yourself. Remember to use what you have created within each of them as one powerful force to stop yourself from being sidetracked.

For example, if you happen to see a link of a cool site after you have stopped looking and started designing, use something like your Bulletproof Brand. Think about the purpose of that cool site. It works for that designer, but not for YOU. That designer’s goal could be very different from yours. Just look and keep moving on to your great design.

Go design it

With these rules you can overcome the struggles of designing for yourself.  I have used these rules and concepts to help overcome my own design challenges. I hope that others will find them to be useful too.

About the Author

Francisco Inchauste is a web and interaction designer whose work you can find over at his online presence – Finch. By day, he works as a UX specialist for Universal Mind. He’s written for O’Reilly’s InsideRIA about User Experience and RIA’s. Connect with him on Twitter.

108 Comments

Chad engle

June 1st, 2009

I think that is great information for trying to design for yourself. Thanks for the info!

Chris McCorkle

June 1st, 2009

Yeah, some definitely great stuff.

Roy Nottage

June 1st, 2009

These are great tips. I’m pleased to know I’m probably not the only one who had been looking at other people’s sites and then whimpering about it.

I definitely need to set myself some clear goals.

JohnONolan

June 1st, 2009

I can’t relate to this one at all – my BEST client is me. I love designing for myself. My worst clients are those who hire a designer and then proceed to want to design the site themselves with you as the pixel-pushing monkey.

Brian Smith

June 1st, 2009

Loved the article. Very insightful. It took me about 8 months to design my portfolio site and it is only one page.

erikbriones

June 1st, 2009

great post. It inspired me.;) I often encounter difficult clients. And I’m sure I can do something about it. Ijust didn’t know what until this post. Tnx again

Coleman

June 1st, 2009

Amazing article! Thank you!

James

June 1st, 2009

Great article, and some very valid pointers. I always find myself making tweaks to my portfolio without any real direction and often I write them off as “playing around” or “development practice”!

It would be interesting to sit down at some point and really define what I want my site to achieve on a personal and professional level.

Doreen

June 1st, 2009

I like this article. It’s almost like.. like I’m normal! :)

Michael Flint

June 1st, 2009

Six months after starting out on my own, I had freelance/intern help. 10 years later, I have a small studio with various designers. I love having them here to help develop our brand. They design on down time, as well as with immediate needs. Its less personal to them, so they do what it takes to get things done. Plus, they bring new ideas to me.

The key is to make decisions quickly, and to be open for changes down the road.

Gleb

June 1st, 2009

Thank you! It’s very actual for me now.

Philip Hastings

June 1st, 2009

Outstanding article.

We’re about to start the re-design process ourselves and this article will definitely come in handy.

Gabe Diaz

June 1st, 2009

These are great pointers to keep on track. We are our own worst critic, true story.

Bob Orchard

June 1st, 2009

That was a great article! Thanks for writing that out. I still struggle with designing my own site – and more so from not being able to get it just “right”.

Ilene Haddad

June 1st, 2009

THANK YOU!!! I’ve been trying to update my website for, oh, 8 years or so.

Jason Grant

June 1st, 2009

Creating anything for one self is almost completely a different ball game than working on a client project.

Damian Herrington

June 1st, 2009

Great post! I couldn’t agree more it took me three attempts to be happy with my portfolio site. And your right content is king, once a structured layout has been made it was easier to design around that rather than vice-versa.

BoltClock

June 1st, 2009

Thank you for this article! I’m so much more inspired and motivated to work on redesigning my site now, right from conception. Really owe you a huge one :)

k_vohsen

June 1st, 2009

Great tips! I think this needs a few more diggs! :) Thanks for sharing this.

Kayla

June 1st, 2009

Awesome article. Very motivational, I loved it.

pandu

June 1st, 2009

Very useful rules, exactly what i need right now.
Thanks a lot for this great article!

David

June 1st, 2009

Really good read, it did refresh my mind and my goals on where to aim and put organization to highest priority

Dan

June 1st, 2009

My company has been going back-and-forth for months now trying to come up with our new website. This is very helpful.

jillies

June 1st, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I didn’t think there was anyone out there who felt the same way.

T-Law

June 1st, 2009

Nice article Francisco, thanks.

Francisco

June 1st, 2009

Thanks for the great feedback so far.

This was a very personal article for me. It was therapeutic for me to write down what I’ve learned over the years. I think this was one of those things that many of us as designers never want to say it was a struggle, rather that it was easy to come up with a website design.

It’s really great to see that I am not alone. Not that I wish this on any other person, but good to get it out for a for some discussion. A big thanks to Jacob Gube of Six Revisions for being open to such a different kind of article!

UsH

June 1st, 2009

Yes Yes Yes !

Marko Randjelovic

June 1st, 2009

Very nice. Thank you. :)

Callum Chapman

June 1st, 2009

Great article, I’m yet to talk to someone who enjoys designing for themselves – personal projects are okay, but when it comes to branding and websites, eurghh!

KevinBrown

June 1st, 2009

This is absolutley the best advice I’ve heard in a long time. I’m over the “10 things you can do to be a great designer” posts.

Thanks for a good article!

Eric

June 1st, 2009

Francisco,

Thank you for this article, presented in a fun and inspiring manner. You don’t know how much of a help this was for me as I read it. It’s hard to look at your own work sometimes without wishing it was better. Thanks for the encouragement!

Eric

SnowWrite

June 1st, 2009

Thank you for the insightful article! What great suggestions. I’ve been struggling to get my site updated for a couple years. I even hired an outside design team!! Now that design is two years old lol oh well. This was inspiring, thank you.

Heather

June 1st, 2009

Great write-up, definately bookmarking this one.

Two Socks

June 1st, 2009

Solid article, great read. Thankyou!

Daniel

June 2nd, 2009

Now I am feeling myself, I am a normal one. :D thanks.

Anthony Alexander

June 2nd, 2009

That sounds like the kind of speech you give to teens After they come from the Abortion clinic. I feel all better inside now, thanks.

designiac

June 2nd, 2009

For few people it’s might be better to set themself a deadline. Not everyone gets restricted because of that.
nice article, thank you.

Danijel Gajan

June 2nd, 2009

I’ve been waiting for an article like this for ages! I’ve made a dozen redesigns of my portfolio for the past few years and I was never satisfied with the result. Intuitively a while ago I started treating myself as a client and this text just fuels my determination to do it right this time. Thank you!

Tom

June 2nd, 2009

Interesting article. I do often struggle to design for myself, as I always want to reach for the stars and often forget about all the stuff in between! For example, with any other client the first thing you would do is capture their requirements with a formal brief? Have you ever done this for YOURSELF however? I’d recommend it – helps add clarity to what you are attempting to achieve.

Andy

June 2nd, 2009

Just about to start building a new site for one of my companies and glad I came across this article.

Thanks!

Andy

pracas upreti

June 2nd, 2009

amazing, @iamfinch has done good job,

peter

June 2nd, 2009

most enjoyable and useful! thanks!

Anouschka Scholten

June 2nd, 2009

Great post! The best is never good enough…. especially if it’s your own.
Back to the basics is what it’s all about, your tips are very helpfull and I hope I’ll remind them when I’m in my über creative ‘if, than , else and fit for the future thinking’…;-))!

Ryan Feyer

June 2nd, 2009

Great article. Thanks for the encouragement to just be us.

mynameisorman

June 2nd, 2009

Good points all well made! Designing a site can sometimes feel like a never ending task, I’m too busy saying it could be better!… My own site isn’t finished yet, it could be better ;)

Sharp Emmons

June 2nd, 2009

Nice work. This addresses the single-most-difficult part of being a creative (in my experience) What I do know from over 15 years experience is that trying to refine who you are is a long, long process. Like anything else, distilling it down to your flavor is the key. Thanks for the insight!

stickysteph

June 2nd, 2009

Thanks for the pep talk! I needed that today!

Jacob Gube

June 2nd, 2009

Thank you everyone for such a wonderful response and to see that I’m not alone when it comes to designing for myself; I take my personal brand for granted only because I’ll never be satisfied with just one style and because I’ll never be happy with it.

And to summarize my general sentiments on what Fransisco wrote, I’ll quote @Ryan Feyer:

Thanks for the encouragement to just be us.

veracitydesign

June 2nd, 2009

This really is a great article! It’s all about just getting it out there, and not being afraid to make mistakes. This topic isn’t brought up too often, so it was a well-done, and informative article. Thanks guys!

BongoBox

June 2nd, 2009

Great stuff, until the part about the cat dying and the fondue getting cold. Is there no more honor among rabid rats?

(I guess these AREN’T the droids I was looking for after all…)
:)

Roberto

June 2nd, 2009

Great points all of them. This happened to me, I started comparing my site to many other “better looking sites” out there. But now I know my site is perfect for my business goal.

Thanks!

paul

June 2nd, 2009

Great article,

I can really relate, as I have just finished my portfolio site, and suffered the same symptoms that you describe so well!
But the important thing is to just get it done.

Osvaldas

June 3rd, 2009

Francisco, thank you for your thoughts. These are really useful when.

When it comes to planing and writing the specifications, the Rule #3 appears to be the best way out. I would add an example: imagine you have to design a bottle and a label for it. Would it be easy to do this if you didn’t know what kind of drink is it? Answer is clear.

As for the end of the article I would have added a quote which basically sums it all up: “it’s amazing how much you can get done in a day if you just sit and you do it”.

julien

June 3rd, 2009

Great rules. Thanks for the article.

LcB

June 3rd, 2009

How amazing to have a list of all the things that went through my mind when I designed my portofio webpage. There is ‘only’ a frontpage there now, without any of the script I have planned but the Design is there! And I can see where I want it to go!

I have spend years analysing my personal brand and artstyle and when I finally started actually labelling out what I want people who see my portfolio to experience….I got so scared of not doing well enough, untill I took the leap, because with your portfolio it is so true that you just have to start somewhere. One day, the ‘artblock’ lifted and I started on the layout and I couldn’t stop untill I had planned the whole thing out.

I will print this article and hang it up to remind myself of some of the things that went through my head when building the frontpage, I need to keep them in mind throughout the rest of the process too so it is nice that someone read my mind and wrote them down.
Brilliant list.
-LcB

Zim

June 3rd, 2009

Motivational post. Thank you, very much.
Time to renew my blog’s design! :D

Mujtaba

June 6th, 2009

very inspirational indeed, just came to know that i am not the only one, i have been trying to launch a portfolio site of my own since a year or so, but till now i have created around 6 to 8 versions of it and cancelled before launch, cause i felt that it was no match to other great designers portfolios and that i still needed to learn to design better…Finally after reading this article , i am inspired and am going to launch my site in 3 days

Francisco

June 10th, 2009

@Mujtaba That’s great!

Anonymous

June 12th, 2009

Francisco, A lot of webdesigner are using ready made template, then they may do a bit of change on it.
It is really hard as you said
Thank you for this beautiful topic .

Claudine

June 12th, 2009

I had those teenager’s feelings that I was the only one struggling and balking before the task of designing for myself. I thought I was being ridiculous and difficult, still I just couldn’t get down to it and satisfy myself with a design without changing my mind 10 times in a day and ending up with nothing produced. Then I stumbled on your article.

Francisco, thank you! When I started reading, I finaly noticed what I was pushing myself to design for the sake of designing a cool, eyecatching website and nothing more. Your article reminded me that a design is nothing but a flashy tool to attain a specific goal. Now, after reading your advices, I feel I can get the job done and be proud of it.

Martin

June 12th, 2009

You kicked my ass to finish my website. thanks.

zhille

June 17th, 2009

haha, I can identify with the post completely…I’ve been running through 4 or 5 versions of my portfolio design, and it has been a pain, because I am not only a designer, I am an ilusutrator and styles are clashing…

But the last one is the one that “fermented” a few days and I like the way it goes. Content is the most hardest part.

Thanks for the great article!

Heidi Cool

June 17th, 2009

Very true. I’ve struggled with my own site in ways that I never would with a client. I think the biggest problem is that the expectations are higher. Since I have the freedom to do what I want, there are no limits, which means the possibilities are endless. Yet somehow that quest for searching for some ideal is limiting in itself.

Now I’m forever finding things that I should improve, things I’ve left out. I have a to-do list of these items, but I make myself proceed with caution so I don’t cause different problems by overthinking the matter. Ideally I’d step outside myself and pretend that this was just a site for someone else. In theory this would make me more objective. But our own sites are not only reflective of our work, but also of our identity…I think that’s what makes them so confounding.

Angela

June 20th, 2009

This is really good advice and I could really use it about now. I think im on the fifth or sixth re-design of my portfolio.

Moriel

June 20th, 2009

it’s so true.
it’s hard to do something for yourself..
thinkung of concept and getting started – almost never take a time to design and built your own place..

thanks for the tips – motivating ones

Beelzebub

June 22nd, 2009

Wow, I feel so much better. I’ve started and then abandoned about 4 design concepts for my portfolio in the past two weeks.

I’m not alone!

Elaine B.

June 24th, 2009

Best list ever! I am a self professed “my own worst customer” and I have designed my site at least twice a year. My true nemesis is to find out some other designer has copied my look exactly. It`s infuriating!! Finally I have come to I look I like, and I would keep it even if I were copied. Thank you for publishing this!!!
XOXO
Elaine

Will D. White

June 24th, 2009

Great advice! I’ve been designing and redesigning a blogfolio for myself for 2 months now. Time to get organized, go out and find inspiration, and get it online already!

Rajesh Satyarthi

July 4th, 2009

My story :(

We always learn something from each project/client, but I never ever learned this much when i started designing my own site. I keep trying to make the best in one shot and keep looking new sites but i realized its better to understand yourself and express it instead like as Francisco said having “crutch”.

ps: love your site francisco, typography is my favorite :)

miri dahan

August 5th, 2009

I think you just about covered everything that has been troubling me as I struggle to design my first website (a blog – not mine). All your rules are relevant, touching the core. It feels like a turning point to me. Thank you!
(can anyone tell me how wide the site should be? – the first time around I made it too narrow, I.m afraid)

Jimmy

August 12th, 2009

So many good points. Thank you Francisco Inchauste.

Jeff the Rocker

August 20th, 2009

It is unbelivabely accurate. I wish I had read this line before I start to design my portfolio.
On the other hand, I’m relieved (OK, so fucking happy) to sse that it is common to make this kind of mistake.
Great article.

Claire Uhrbom

September 8th, 2009

Oh thank you for this article! The timing is perfect as I am right in the middle of this battle myself and was starting to think that I was the only person who was struggling with my own site! Such a weight off my shoulders, love your work xx

Keren Green

September 15th, 2009

THANK YOU!!! Finally ….it is so true. i feel just like YOU wrote it :”It’s really great to see that I am not alone”
:-)

cypherbox

September 18th, 2009

Thanks for this useful tips.

thedoodlebaker

September 19th, 2009

It’s funny. This is the exact conversation that my boyfriend and I had during this morning’s commute. This is so inspirational. I am going to print this out and hang this on my wall. Thanks for writing this article.

madhz

September 22nd, 2009

Thank you very much for this post. This article reflects me… I mean, I have always wanted to have a presence online. Your rules will help me rule-out my struggles.

dan djorgi

September 27th, 2009

Great post – thank you!

dean

October 6th, 2009

Man this is awesome. I feel like I just laid back in a comfy chair and got professional advice – without a huge bill or feeling silly. Thanks :P

Scouse MG

October 13th, 2009

Great article, I too thought I was alone in this world. I created a website that I uploaded over a year ago now, bought new hosting in May but still havent uploaded a new site due to creative block, great article. Hope it helps me :)

berkshire

October 18th, 2009

Great article. I think some of the trouble is as we are the designer we can keep on amending and changing to our hearts content and perhaps we will never be happy. My struggle is always time!

al

December 18th, 2009

great article. i’ve been struggling with this same subject. however your link to elizabeth gilbert on TED is broken.

Roberto Blake

December 28th, 2009

There is a lot of truth to everything you’ve said here. Much of it revolves around staying encouraged, and creating the conditions for your success. Great post! I think many designers will benefit from this.

ConnyLo

January 1st, 2010

Great thoughts and ideas especially for me as I am trying to get a new design for my ol good site. But I think I should reduce to the basics – thanks!

Ali R. Khan

January 18th, 2010

That Creativity Tip was Completely Awesome and Right… Overall Amazing Post.

Jodi

January 18th, 2010

Wow. I feel like every word in this article was written for me!

sefat

January 19th, 2010

right article for me at the right time !! i have been looking for my own..original design for last 2/3 months..by only keeps on finding inspiration from other designers work…trying to figure out whats the trend !! its good see see other designers also go through these dilemma ! hope i could use some of these tips !

Amanzi

January 19th, 2010

Great article, thank you for the inspiration

Sam Wilson

February 4th, 2010

this link is broken: “Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity”

Jacob Gube

February 4th, 2010

@Sam Wilson: Oops. We’ve corrected the link above. For convenience, here’s the correct link: http:/www.ted.com/index.php/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

Simon Carr

February 16th, 2010

Arg… It is so hard to design for yourself. I am my own worst critic. I find myself editing my designs too much. I’m still not completely happy with my own site (www.workbysimon.com), but it is a work in progress…

Thanks for this article.

Cam

February 16th, 2010

Great article – I am going through this exact process right at the moment and so many of the points in this article ring true for me :)

ajl

February 16th, 2010

I’m now in the middle of a “fight” with myself regarding my new site, these are great tips and now the victory is mine ;-).

10x for sharing

stephanie

March 1st, 2010

An old post, but I had to comment and thank you for it anyway. I’ve gone through 3 complete redesigns before putting my first portfolio site up. It still needs tweaking, but I find myself wanting to just take it down and completely redo it when it’s only been up a few days. This article has helped me calm down about it a bit and let it sit for a while. If it’s truly not working out, I will redo it, but I haven’t even given it a chance. Thanks again. Bookmarking this now because I’m sure I’ll need these reminders again.

Shaz Hossain

March 2nd, 2010

A really great article!!! Makes me feel it’s not just me! Definitely one to keep!

Thanks

Bill

March 3rd, 2010

I hate trying to create designs for myself. I always find myself trying to hard to make it something amazing.

Jim Cabus

March 7th, 2010

Can someone please shoot, or at least kidnap, my inner ceitic so I can get my site done ? :-)

Great article !

Criselle Gokian

March 9th, 2010

I’m blessed with this article!
Thanks :)

BV

March 24th, 2010

Thank you for a great article – that I’ve somehow managed not to find until today.
I agree in all of your points and, like commented by many other, I can see so much of my own struggles in the article.
And – I agree that the hard part here is probably figuring out what your own style and ‘professional personality’ is like. I guess this is something that you’ll be more and more aware of with experience?
One question; you state that when you know your own brand, you’ll have something to base your work for others on as well. I guess that you’ll always solve design problems differently from any other designer, purely based on your own style and experiences. However, this also means that it is ok to say that no design process can be absolutely objective – meaning that even with a blank slate and working from a customer brief, you’ll be starting from somewhere; and that somewhere is your own style and brand / YOUR way of designing. I’ve read numerous times how important it is that design is not self-expression (the way art is). But isn’t it fair to say that it is impossible to aviod some level of self-expression when doing a design for a client? Do others agree or am I on a wrong track here?

Drew

June 9th, 2010

Wow, this is so true… I’m totally my own worst client.

I have been designing a site for my freelance operation for over a year – I would just never be completely, 100% satisfied with everything, and I was prone to abandoning work I’ve done to head off in new direction after new direction.

As you said, the key is to accept that there will always be a site out there _____-er than yours, so rather than holding out for the *perfect* site, you’re better off settling for a very good one and putting it out in the world for everyone to see and use.

Just recently coming to terms with this, and it feels so much better to just accept a design and go with it than to agonize over it endlessly and unproductively. It’s almost as satisfying as saying “no” to an lowballing prospect for the first time! :)

Matthew

November 16th, 2010

This is a great article – I have forwarded onto my designer friends! Thanks for sharing

M

Rahul Bangar

January 3rd, 2011

I love my clients

Pushpinder Bagga

January 11th, 2011

Very well written Francisco – Kudos!

Angie

February 2nd, 2011

Very helpful article. I highly agree on myself being the worst client as I’m never satisfied with a certain detail or small tweaks that I want to do for my own website. And what’s more is, every time I see a “cool” layout/design, I almost always consider doing something “like it” on my portfolio. It’s a little frustrating at times. Your article was very useful, thank you!

azdrian

June 7th, 2011

wow! this article is the bomb.true facts that hit the nail on the head. exactly what i am experiencing at the moment.good work!

Pitch

September 24th, 2011

wow! i am stunned.. all of the points spoke to me. thanks!

Cory

October 6th, 2011

We find the biggest problem in a redesign is the feeling that you actually need to do one vs just being bored of your old look. For this we really take a relaxed approach to our redesigns, they usually span six months to a year from the initial idea phase.

I find the biggest road block to your own designs is the pressure of perceived perfection. When you take it slow and understand they our existing website works, you can remove that pressure and really focus on what you want to achieve with the redesign. Often times you will journey down a path that seems like an upgrade and ultimately scrap it as it didn’t work out as envisioned.

Basically the easiest thing to realize with all of this is that you most likely don’t need a redesign and to not go about it in the perspective that you do, unless you have a clear vision.

Good post

RV

November 15th, 2011

really helpful article….. thanks man!

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