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Post 31: Putting design second, at first

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 3.26.00 pm

The image on the left is what the first version of our product will look like, the image on the right is what I want it to look like.

As a designer your instinct is to work on something until it is beautiful, effective and the simplest it can be. But when you’re working on a new product with no customers, well you don’t have that luxury. Especially if, like us, you don’t have any funding and you’re just trying to get feedback.

Design certainly is important in the early stages, but in my experience, too much attention to the look can hold up development and progress to the point where you loose valuable testing time.

Designers work faster than developers (mostly) and in our case I can’t code well enough to contribute, so my partner needs .png’s to work from. It’s no good him coding all day and then at day’s end, I send him a new set of screens that I’ve been working on that day saying “can we make it look like this…?”

It helps me to remember why we are building what we are building. It’s about learning and getting feedback. If they design is only 60% of the way there, well so be it.

Shipping less than perfect design will batter your ego and you’re not going to want to show your designer mates, but you just have to cop it — poorly kerned letters and all.

We both like the second screen you see above, but we both know it’s not worth spending time changing the code. It can come later. The focus is on launch.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 3.29.20 pm


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