This article was published on March 7, 2011

Review Your Designs with the Fresh Eyes Test


Review Your Designs with the Fresh Eyes Test
Dave Gamache
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Dave Gamache

I'm an interaction designer at ZURB in the Bay Area. I handcraft pixels, write about design and love HTML5/CSS3/jQuery. Follow me on Twitter I'm an interaction designer at ZURB in the Bay Area. I handcraft pixels, write about design and love HTML5/CSS3/jQuery. Follow me on Twitter (@dhgamache) or check out my thoughts and work at www.davegamache.com

Just the other day while perusing Twitter I saw a rather insightful and very true tweet from Noah Stokes (@motherfuton):

As a test to see if I my designs hold water, I like to step away from them for a few days then come back and see if I still like them.

This practice is brilliant. When you’ve been glued to a screen for a 4 hours and have been jamming away at a design, it’s easy to get “too close to the project.” What I mean is that you will begin to loathe the design and feel like nothing you change is beginning to make any noticeable improvement. No matter how many times you re-adjust colors, reconsider typography or adjust the layout, you are just not digging it.

The solution. When you’ve hit a good point in your design and have a solid first pass, don’t continue to push into the detailed refinement immediately. Take a break. Spend a couple hours working on another project or go down the street to McDonalds and grab a McFlurry (or whatever your personal vice might be).

Put your design in perspective by giving it some room to breathe. Coming back to it will be a revelation – you will either begin to immediately see the weak points and begin to work on those or you will be pleasantly surprised and start to feel more confident about your direction.

Give it a try. It has helped me a good deal.

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