You There! Explain Yourself!


Found among Andy Rutledge’s always tremednous list of links, was Lealea Design’s article, “Can You Justify Design Decisions?” We’ve talked a lot on this site about how much you’re worth as a designer, not selling yourself short, and dealing with your clients who you think don’t know anything. But for all our patting you on the back and that “keep a stiff upper lip, ol’ chum” attitude we have around here, sometimes the focus has to come back to you. Do you actually have the chops to explain what you’re doing and why? Or has most everything you do become rote and all those design terms and lessons have left your brain like so many lyrics to so many songs by a band you liked in eighth-grade. Therein lies the question at the heard of this article. And it’s a good one to think over. Here’s some:

…there’s this strange reluctance I’ve noticed in designers trying to justify their decisions without resorting to the age old “it just looks good.” If you’re an artist or hobbyist, or you’re doing something for fun, that excuse may fly, but in a professional industry: no. Clients can be fickle, and if you don’t have strong reasons to back up your design, you could quickly fall into the quicksand that is multiple client revisions with no purpose. Justifying your design decisions helps establish yourself an authority on the subject.