Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I’m a Tweaker

Unavoidable in designing is tweaking. The devil is in the details, so you move an image over a smidge, change a word here or switch colors there. It’s an ongoing process of trying to get every element to work together to create a layout that satisfies you. Yet any satisfaction you have is often short-lived, because you see the flaws. This may sound overly negative, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being critical allows you to question what you’re doing and can help push you in a direction to fix any problems you see. So you tweak to fix those flaws, and even after tweaking, you want to tweak again. It’s almost compulsive, and sometimes you just have to let it go and tell yourself, “I’m done.”

However, I just can’t seem to help myself. Even when I’m done with a personal design project I’m not really done. If I take another look at something I’ve created, I inevitably find something that I want to tweak. I’ll find discontentment with the color, font, image or the layout and want to fix it. Many times it isn’t anything dire that I want to change, it’s just that I think things could be improved.

It’s somewhat frustrating to be dissatisfied with a “finished” project (because usually by the time you’re done with a project, you’re sick of looking at it and never really want to set eyes upon it again). Yet given time and fresh eyes discontentment generally comes, and how can it not? Over time our ideas and perceptions and experiences change us, so what was once fine may not be so fine any longer. So perhaps it’s not so bad to be discontent because it shows that you’ve changed (and hopefully grown) as a designer…at least that’s what I like to tell myself.

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