design for budgets


towards a healthy design and development eco-system


I've been musing about the "systems" we, as people, work within daily.

Thinking specifically on the system implicit in providing web development and design services, the following points come to mind as contributing to a healthy system:

  • No us/them dichotomy. Our clients are part of our systems (or we are part of theirs), and seeking for client feedback regarding "our" processes is informative and essential.
  • For every system an air conditioner. We can build comfort zones into our systems. We are humans, and the systems we use should be humane.
  • Optimum ≠ fastest. We should seek to achieve "optimum speeds" rather than "fastest speeds." The latter ultimately leads to errors/quality issues, burnout, etc. Fastest for the sake of fastest undermines long-term sustainability of projects and relationships.
  • A charcoal filter for fear. We can organize our systems so there is no cause or need for fear – the worry is absorbed and mitigated by the system. Issues are dealt with in-process.

Much of this happens naturally, of course, because we've worked and lived within systems our whole life, but when things get a bit off track, it's always helpful to take a step back and see where the system may need some tweaking. Human relationships are ultimately behind the creation and maintenance of our systems. And no human relationship is perfect - we all have our quirks, insecurities, blind spots, unique forms of arrogance, etc. They're just a sign of our being human. But without a periodic reflection on how these things may be poisoning or misaligning our systems, things can break down. So build that into your system: we can take moments to reflect on and renegotiate our systems.


© 2008