Reviewing the review

I remember the last time I reviewed a screen design with colleagues. It was for a small, local client, who was overwhelmed by the big, modern, alien monster which is the internet. I was assigned the task of drawing up some screen layouts which would be fun and intuitive, which played to the client’s tastes and which would put across the purpose and mood of his business.

The pre-client meeting was between the two of us, to discuss first impressions and whether the non-tech-savvy client would approve. The meeting, which was typical of those days, lasted an hour before it broke down and I ended up walking out, in order to save my mood and the integrity of windows, chairs and everything else breakable in the room. The design was trashed by a programmer because he didn’t like the colour; it was too bright, it didn’t conform to his plans and he just plain didn’t like it. The fact that the colour was based on a client expectation and preference was ignored.

My first design here was just reviewed in a discussion lasting nearly an hour. It was well received, constructive criticism was made and we discussed individual elements sensibly and professionally. I could explain and defend my ideas, get good feedback on them and come to a good compromise, which is actually better than my original idea. This is the point of team reviews: to create the best work possible. I am looking forward presenting my work now, because I know that it won’t be a fight. It’ll be a discussion.