Advice for the budding designer

Just a quick note on a great article written by Cameron Moll over at Authentic Boredom. Cameron takes a second out to give you, the budding (and not-so-budding) designer eight important things to remember when doing that voodoo that you do so well. Just to encapsulate the points:

  1. Details a Great Designer Makes
  2. There’s a point at which quality becomes too costly. Find that point with every project
  3. Those who code XHTML/CSS as well as they design will always have an edge over those who only design
  4. Communicate, don’t decorate
  5. When you hit a snag in CSS, strip down to the base ID and work up
  6. Rock. Paper. Trimmer. (Get a good paper trimmer)
  7. Give me one canvas, two fonts, and I’ll make something that sings
  8. Chunking

I found number two hit close to home. I have a tendency to overdo it when I see potential in a design. Cameron makes the point that you can waste a lot of valuable time (and time == money) working on details that only you will notice. Your client and the viewing public most likely will never see these details, and including them is often too expensive to be worth it.

I’m big on quality, but he has a point. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted on minor details for a simple comp, just to find the prospective client never even noticed. That’s not to say attention to detail isn’t important (see point number one), just that you have to draw the line somewhere.