Do Everything Twice… At Least.

This title sounds a little sensationalist. Before I jump into it – I want to deescalate the title. Don’t do LITERALLY everything twice. Do things you CARE about twice (that’s what she said). Since working on my independent project (a web app), I’ve found that every decision I have made I’ve had to go back and completely re-evaluate from the ground up. It’s not because the decision was wrong – some of the decisions were spot-on. However, there will always be a gap between perception and reality. How you perceive a project will likely be different from how it is ultimately used as a product.

Think in terms of a user interface. I spent quite a bit of time designing wireframes, outlining the purpose of each page, and building workflows that show exactly what I would like users to do in the web app. When I actually built the thing it just didn’t make sense. Some of this may be due to lack of experience in designing interfaces, but at the end of it I looked at it and thought “I could do better”.

There have been many cases when creating analyses where I wanted to knock the presentation way out of the park. The first pass made complete sense and had a very logical flow. However, after rereading it I was able to better see the peripheral. I would create a second version – sometimes it would take hours; and at the end, it may have been completely scrapped.

The point is that often you can’t truly understand your audience and realize your vision until you have done something twice – even if you have measured twice. It takes more time, but building a quality product isn’t something that is done in a single pass.

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