Until the Next Time

So, there’s the deadline. When you want to be done with the project, so you can get on to the next one. Then there’s The Deadline: When the boss, the client, or even you yourself, says you must be done with the project.

With me so far?

The deadline passed Thursday. I needed to be done. I wasn’t letting the client down, not That Deadline, but there were other projects waiting on this. I wanted to bust it out in case the other things took longer.

Instead, this took longer.

And when I say longer, what I mean is, late weeknights. A week or two of late weeknights had already been put in. All day Saturday. All night Saturday. Around 2:00 Sunday, morning, I finally finished, after every technical glitch possible had plagued me Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday. On the weekdays, people knew the general direction I was going, but with technical stuff causing steam to come out of my ears, let’s just say people kindly left me alone. Then on Friday night and Saturday, it was me and my sofa.

Sunday morning it was beautiful. The sun was shining, the work looked awesome, I felt brilliant. I expanded on the concept; I tweaked, I puttered, I admired.

Monday morning, someone asked if she could look at it.

“That’s not the direction we agreed on.”

“It’s not? Well, it’s pretty darned beautiful, though, isn’t it? It’s gonna rock.” You may be assured that “darned” is not the word I used. I was feeling a bit defensive.

“It’s kinda, umm, not ugly, but not right for this industry.”

I’ll proudly say that this conversation does not happen very often. In fact, this particular one is a couple of years old now. But as I worked on a project until the wee hours this past Saturday night, I remembered it all too well. When I knew I was getting high on my work, I put it down, unfinished. I’ll work on it after I’ve gotten some distance from it. Even Experience Designers need Perspective now and again.

Don’t fall in love, folks. Get that outsider’s eye. Let someone else fall in love. Then you’ll know.

Have you ever busted your hump to make the best, most incredible [insert product of your industry here], only to discover you’d gotten too close and fallen in love with a dud?

Hmm. Now that I look at it, this one is pretty rockin’.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

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