One problem with all those stories about Apple and how Apple sweats every tiny detail of every app, product and website ever delivered is that some misconceptions of reality are stuck in our heads. Of course it’s important to think about details, to change things dozens of times, to test, to discard, to start again. Iteration helps, it helps getting a feeling for what you are working on. You have to see the alternatives to dismiss them. Sometimes you have to scribble something you know won’t work, just so you have seen that it doesn’t work — and sometimes, while doing that, you get a new, even better idea.
I’ve noticed that I’m running the risk to get lost in details for example in the twentieth iteration of a button on a profile page. It’s not easy to keep looking at the bigger picture, to define something as not as important as something else, when you try to achive a workflow like those stories about Apple taught us.
It’s not like I’ve thought like this five months ago, but somewhen in the meantime I learned that we would not be able to finish the work on the QUOTE.fm iPad app if we try to build something entirely perfect.
The problem lies within the fact that we’re all learning something new every day. For my part my taste changes nearly weekly. I discover flaws in things I found flawless before. It’s not like we’re not trying to achieve the best possible result, but if you don’t stop improving at some point, you’ll never ship a product. And if you don’t ship the product you’ll never know if it’s actually something that fits into the life of others.
I’ve designed the QUOTE.fm iPad app, changed it a few times and decided it’s nice as it is. Then I began to work on the QUOTE.fm iPhone app and found better solutions for problems I’ve already solved in another way on the iPad. Sometimes I changed it in the iPad app afterwards, but if I’d do that every time, there wouldn’t be an iPad app anytime soon. If ever.
That said, I’m looking forward to sending out the first beta to our testers this week. It’s the first version of an app we’ve worked on for the last months. It’s not going to be perfect. We’re planning to update the apps as often as we update the site and we’re going to let you know what’s planned and how decisions are made.
Don’t chase absolute perfection, chase the right amount of perfection for the moment at hand.
Feel free to correct any grammar and spelling mistakes in the comments. Thank you.