The blog of Jon Bolt. UX, design & startups.

Being done

31 Aug 2012

'Done' is difficult in product design. Being lean encourages scope reduction to only what's necessary, whilst achieving (at least) a minimal threshold of design quality.

So on one hand, we have to rigorously say no to features which dilute a product's focus (although the goal here isn't the reduction in complexity, but rather an iterative process around learning).

In terms of design quality, there's pressure to invest as little as possible. Make the call on each UI decision and move on. Where this threshold actually sits is complex. I don't particularly like the minimal usable design (MUD) concept, it mis-interprets aspects of the MVP (it's a process, not an end-point). There's also no clarity around where this threshold sits. Different teams have different baselines, creating opportunities to under invest and a continual increase in UX deficit.

Counter to this, there's the pressure to over-design. Here, the value of change and the boundaries between style and design become increasingly unclear. All this creates a riskier release.

Despite this, 'done' shouldn't be over-thought. Formalizing thresholds of quality is a dangerous distraction. If you are agile and iterative, you can just go back to decisions if they don't work. Equally, iterating to the design quality that delights and retains customers avoids over-designing.


Also read... Iterating quality and scope


I'm Jon Bolt, Principal UX Designer at Brightpearl and creator of bagelhint. Interested in startups, design and agile.