The hardest (and most critical) part of any design process is the last 10-20%. Not just because that’s where a lot of the detail and polish comes in, but because that’s where it’s easy for things to seize up.
- We become increasingly aware of deadlines
- We get cautious and conservative
- We acquiesce to the temptation of “good enough”
- We stop looking for new ideas and taking big swings
- We stop trusting our intuition if something isn’t right
- We get locked into tired modes of thinking
- We get lazy with the desire to “be done”
Sometimes, the best thing you can do at the late stage of a design is rip out a foundational wall and rebuild it. If something isn’t working, it’s better to fix it now than regret it later.
You can’t play it safe just because you’re close to the finish line. You’ve got to listen to that artistic sense that got you here. That voice that is saying “this isn’t right, let’s fix it.” You have to be able to critically and objectively ask yourself “Is this done, is it as good as I can reasonably make it? Or do I just want/need it to be done?”
That question is often what separates a great design from a good one.