Johan Ronsse
31 Oct 2017

Grounded in reality

In Spring, I did an exercise with Xavier.

We put all of the Mono projects we did since 2014 on a giant whiteboard and categorized them.

From this exercise, we concluded that over 85% of our projects are redesigns of existing projects. About 40% of our projects are for startups, 50% for existing (bigger) companies, and 10% for small businesses.

The most common project we do is a redesign of an existing piece of software, which has grown over the years without a lot of attention to the user experience.

What was interesting to me is that 85% redesign number. This effectively means we almost never work on new concepts.

Quite a lot of the design work we do is something that can ship the following week.

This means our design solution has to be grounded in reality. This is something that I stress quite a lot when we design our projects.

Our clients are not Silicon Valley darlings with millions in funding that can spend weeks on unimportant illustrations.

When you’re a startup, maybe a glyph from the Noun Project and a proper font is good enough as a logo.

Maybe sometimes, Bootstrap is good enough, because it has to be done by Friday.

Every discussion about technical prowess becomes moot when you set the deadline to next month.

Why would you build it in React if PHP works just fine, and you have a ton of template code lying around that just works®?

I am working on a conceptual project now and it is quite refreshing to not have to think about shipping next week. But more than ever, it makes me realize that a lot of our design work is grounded in reality, and I quite like that.

Johan Ronsse

About the author: Johan Ronsse is an interface designer who is trying to find the balance between aesthetics and usability. He tweets as @wolfr_2.

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