Have you ever worked on something for so long that you can’t tell if it needs more adjusting or if you just made it way too convoluted? Whether it’s a graphic, a song, a section of code, or a crafting project, I’m sure many of you have been in this boat! Before you know it, hours have been spent on something that you’re not even sure is quality work. For example, I tend to get in over my head and make something look over-the-top. Sometimes when you make something too busy looking, it can come across as severely outdated. Nowadays, clean and bold is what looks good in web design and digital graphics. Some of the software products available give you a plethora of options that can make it too easy to make something that really isn’t very good. There probably isn’t a way to get rid of this type of uncertainty completely, but there are certain things you can do to come to a more accurate conclusion.
Take a Break!
Sometimes your brain can only process so much! Think about when you’d write a paper in school. You could read the darn thing ten times in a row and think it read wonderfully. Then the next day arrives and you swear that the person that wrote it was illiterate. It’s a scary realization that the somehow educated illiterate behind that work was actually you. The same thing applies to any other work you do! Many times I have spent a couple hours on something and then not come back to it for a day or two. This has personally helped me make critical decisions on what to keep and what to take out.
Get Another Opinion (or Two)
Opinions can be great, but they can also be destructive! I would ask one or two other people what they think. This can include what they liked and disliked about it. It’s great to get another person’s point of view that hasn’t seen your work at previous stages of the process. The only problem with this is that you don’t want to get too many opinions! I’m amazed that there aren’t more hung juries due to the lack of agreement between groups of people! Everyone has different tastes, so my advice would be to try to show limited options to a small amount of people.
Google Comparable Work
Don’t underestimate the power of Google! When I’ve made brochures and newsletters in the past, I’ve looked at what other students and professionals do. As I’ve mentioned before, using bold lettering and plenty of whitespace is a common theme among web designers. You’ll find great templates or inspiration for the cohesiveness of your project just by using google images. I’ve also found great pointers/tutorials on creating certain effects to bring projects from decent to fantastic!
Trust Your Gut
Your intuition is one of those things that is usually right. I put about 10 options up of my logo on my own personal Facebook account before I made a final decision. Even though I got a lot of great feedback, everyone had a different opinion. At the end of the day, I knew that I personally liked the girl with the lamb, so that’s the one I ultimately decided to go with. Even though the votes were close between that one and one that had a different lamb by itself, I felt like I was ignoring all the people that voted for the other logo. When you put yourself in a situation like that, your project will almost never be done. Sometimes you know what you like and what you think will work long term. Of course, this is a different story if a client is involved. In that case, you should always design what the client wants, but even then don’t give your client too many options. Many times they aren’t completely sure what they want, and you’ll be stuck editing your project for weeks.
Again, there isn’t an exact formula for when you know your project is complete, but if you combine the tips from above you might have a better idea. It never hurts to get a second opinion and to look at comparable work, but at the end of the day always trust your gut!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What’s a project that took you a long time to complete?