No more 'good enough'. Bringing quality back.

Don't accept good enough. Bring quality back.
Never would have been made with a "good enough" attitude

It's disturbing the amount of times I hear designers, clients, or anyone else for that matter, use the phrase "good enough". Unfortunately we live in an age where "good enough" is acceptable, and actually what the majority expects. I want to change this. I want to bring quality back to everything we do.

I'm not preaching perfectionism or wanting to set unrealistically high standards. I'm not saying that everything we do should be so over analyzed to the point where projects never get finished. I simply want to raise the level of what is acceptable and remove "good enough" from our vocabulary. As a society I want everyone to take pride in the work they do regardless of what that work may be.

How did we get to the point of good enough?

We live in a world that is moving at a pace we cannot keep up with. Everything has to be done yesterday and in response we rush to produce reactionary work that results in output that is "good enough". We don't have the time, or more accurately, make the time, to stop and plan a little or even just think things through before jumping into a reactive response.

What happens is we accept that something is "good enough for now" and convince ourselves, co-workers and clients that we'll fix things and bring the quality up to the necessary level later. But it never happens because everyone has accepted that the solution was good enough or we're busy reacting to our next problem.

How do we break this cycle and bring quality back?

Well, its not going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. We've got to stop accepting the defaults and think about things a bit more before reacting. We've got to work together and realize when timelines, budgets and resources need to be adjusted. We've got to own our work and be proud of everything we do. We've got to respect craft and let professionals do what they do. We've got to educate each other, clients and customers and reinforce that we demand quality.

Below is a list of a few industry specific places where we can start. These are probably nothing new to professional designers, but for the rest of you readers, these are the some typical ways quality is compromised in design:

  1. Web design - Stop using stock or template clubs instead of designing a website that accomplishes your business goals, reaches your target audience and enhances your brand image. Don't accept a template that hundreds of other websites are using because its good enough.
  2. Brand image - Stop using crowdsourced design websites powered by ame weekend-warriors to design possibly the most important and professional element of your brand—your logo. Don't accept the clip-art-like stock logos slapped together by someone who knows absolutely nothing about your business, goals or strategy and is just trying to produce something as quick and cheap as possible.
  3. Process - Stop using designers/companies that cut corners to get sites launched quick and "economically". Don't accept the lack of a structured process for defining the goals, competitors, structure and growth of your website. It will end up costing you much more in the long run.
  4. Design goals over personal preference - I wrote an entire blog post about this :)

We've got to stop accepting "good enough".