If you’re trying to make your designs really special; then you’ll want to ensure you’ve done everything you can to add those touches that make things simple and sublime for your users. Here’s a simple checklist that may help you achieve just that:
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The Checklist for Superb Designs
Did I experiment with the design? It’s always a good idea to try a lot of ideas early on in the design phase. If you’ve only worked with a single idea; how likely is it to be the best? If you throw a lot of ideas into the works – you’re much likely to iterate to the best ideas. You may also find that bits of one idea work really well when blended with another… Brainstorm as a team and avoid any blocks in your process.
Did I choose simplicity? It’s easy to get completely lost in the detail when making design decisions. Yes, detail is important but it’s not the be-all and end-all of design. That’s because your user is the most important part of the process. You should sense check each decision you make with simple and easy to use as your main goals. Your users will thank you for it.
Did I design with consistency in mind? This is harder to do than is to say. If you’ve chosen a font for a specific purpose; have you used it for that purpose throughout your design? The same goes for layouts – are they consistent between pages? If you’re really clever you can make notes on this process during the design phase and then turn them into a style guide (which you can sell to your clients) afterwards.
Did I finish the design? This is where you can pay attention to the details. Is your design done? Have you ticked all your boxes, dotted all your “i’s” and crossed all your “t’s”? Check footers, headers, margins, text boxes, logos, everything and then check again. If it ain’t done; it’s not ready.
Did I take time to let things breathe? It’s really important for creative to give themselves some space from a project before checking it for polish. Writers do the same thing by the way – the manuscript needs to go in a drawer for a while before they review it. Before you sign off on a project; take a few minutes (or hours or days) to ignore it. Do other stuff or just go for a walk. Come back with a fresh perspective and really look at your work – is it good enough yet?
Can I explain why I have done what I’ve done? Your clients are going to ask; so you might as well be ready for them. If you can explain your design then you truly understand it. That’s as close to perfection as possible.
Am I truly happy with the end product? Hey, if something’s bothering you – work on it. There is a time when you’re going to have to stop but you can keep working right up to the deadline on things that don’t quite work for you. That’s a great way to deliver the best outcomes.
What do you think of our checklist? Are there any other items you’d add to the list?
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