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The resurrection for the "designers adrenalin kick"

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Michael Christensen

Michael Christensen
Michael Christensen has been doing computer graphic design since the Amiga was the hottest little box money could buy. He is the author of the forthcoming e-book:

"Web Design Principles For Every Designer"
This article is just a fraction of what the e-book will include - and the level of detail in the book is high. Check out his site dev|gfx where you can get a notification when the e-book is due for release.


Michael Christensen has written 1 articles for WebKnowHow.
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Starting a web project from scratch can be an intimidating process. On the other hand we know what to expect: hours of planning - sweating in the late hours creating the design.

Adding and deleting layers with the speed of light - fine tuning the highlights of the pixel-perfect design, tons of coffee. At 04.18 pm. - finally, the design is nearly finished. Then it hits you - it's a totally overwhelming feeling filling your entire body. You look at your new design and think, "This is my best work ever!" your body are filled with satisfaction - the fact that you are tired is forgotten. A big smile is on your face. This is why designing is great - I call it "the designers adrenalin kick" - not many things in life can beat this feeling - you feel alive.

The following week we present the design with pride for the customer - and then it happens - the thoughts that has been suppressed way back in our brain - we are nuked back to scratch because the company had a preference for big round buttons and a "nice" menu aligned left. Did I forget to mention a very saturated color green. We try to argument for the brilliant thoughts behind our idea - but it doesn't help.

The battle is lost - otherwise we loose the order. You don't feel too good - in fact you think that doing design is hopeless and people do not understand your brilliant ideas.

This is off cause a bit over saturated but I think you get the picture.

We urge for the adrenalin kick - we need it - what can be done to get companies to understand and implement our brilliant designs?

Well, that is a big question - but first we have to look at our selves. What can we do?
Before you start throwing around layers in your favorite design software - it's a must to identify the target audience. We have all heard that before. "What does it have to do with me?" or "I always do that" you might ask.

Obviously we have to design for the target audience but more important do we know if the design really works as intended?

Test your design with the true experts - the end users.
This can easily be done with a print of your work if you are short in time (and we often are). Locate a few test-persons in the target audience. Ask then simple questions regarding the design, navigation and general opinions regarding your design etc.

Write down what they say - write it in a nicely formatted document along with their age, gender, position etc.

Maybe you need to Change the design a bit to fur fill your test-audience requests or wishes. Never the less we now have the strongest weapon against companies, which just loves round buttons and the color green.

I'M not a usability evangelist like a certain Jakob Nielsen. I just need my adrenalin kick - and now I have found a way to get it more often.

A good idea is always to do these kinds of tests before taking off to meetings presenting your brilliant work.

With the "weapon" (the test-results) in your left hand and your pixel-perfect design print in the right hand you can now easily argument for your design.

Why gamble with your next project - be smart and bring along, with your smashing design, the test result that proofs your design actually works.

I'M off to get my weekly adrenalin kick.

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