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October 29, 2018
142: Iteration

Is your first idea ever your best idea? Is there ever a time where you design something once and then - BOOM! That’s it, done. In this episode of Design Life we discuss iteration. As a designer, when you design something new, it's the beginning of a process. Iteration takes practice. It takes time to refine your taste and your skill in design, you don’t just come up with one idea and call it done. We discuss the process and how we use iteration to our advantage in our work.

key takeaways

Imagine iteration is a circle. Every design starts with an idea, this is the beginning of the circle. Through iteration you work through a process, learning more about the problem and exploring ways it can be solved. At the end of the iteration process you come back to your original design and idea. After you’ve applied everything you’ve learned to your original idea, it transforms into a golden ticket - the product of iteration.

Iteration doesn’t have to be linear. At times you might find that you have duplicated your art board and are focusing on improving just one particular area of the design. When you are happy with that part, you might choose another part of the design to work on. Other times, you might find that you will work on a combination of elements at the same time. Iteration varies from project to project.

Taking a small break from your design in the middle of your project can help you to refocus. Use this break to reset your mind so you can come back to the iteration process  with new ideas.

Iteration takes time. In projects at work, it is rare that enough time is allocated to the iteration process. If you can work out the average amount of iteration time it takes for you to significantly improve your design, you can use this information to back up your request for more iteration time.

How do you know when you’ve finished iterating? This question is a difficult one to answer. If you feel you have finished iterating, put your design to one side until the next day and look at it with fresh eyes. If the next day you feel proud of your design, it is ready to be shown to stakeholders for feedback. This point in the project will change depending on the project and your level of experience.

show timestamps

00.00 – Femke at Jam London

04.34 – What is iteration?

05.57 – Femke’s early design process

09.26 – Learning from iteration

10.16 – Iteration doesn’t have to be linear

11.06 – The logistics of iteration

13.52 – Sketching out ideas

18.28 – Budget your time

21.25 – The double diamond technique

24.16 – How do you know when you’ve finished iterating?

27.24 – Feedback

30.46 – Iteration is a messy process

show links