Avoid perfectionism

Perfectionism can sink a website or online project. Although it takes time to make a website perfection can stop it from moving forward and keep things offline for too long.

Rob Fraser website start

Many organizations and individuals hold back on projects for weeks, months or years because it is not perfect. Perfectionism is especially dangerous within groups. Different perspectives are good at generating different ideas about what is possible and how to improve something. However, this can sink a project if the groups get caught up on rough edges.

Every website will have bugs. There is not a piece of technology that has ever be designed to perfection. It is always refined and improved on. This is especially true for websites. Sometime we forget what the internet used to look like though. I suggest checking out the internet archive to look back at some company websites and see how they evolved. Even Facebook has gone through numerous iterations and changes.

If you are part of an online project or thinking about launching a website try to remember perfection is not a necessity for launch. Decide what the basics are and launch. The foundation can be improved on later and the unfinished additions should provide motivation to keep moving forward.

Continuing to improve is critical though. Online projects should really be thought of as “ongoing” projects. Not something that will simply be finished and done. Perhaps if it is only a report, it can just be revisited annually, but if it is for an organization there should be regular meetings about how it is functioning and what needs improvement.

When sites ignore the need for continuous improvement things can deteriorate quickly. Perhaps neglect and spam comments, or maybe traffic that is getting to the page, but leaving immediately. Every website designer or planning committee has a purpose. However, users are the ones that truly determine when a project is acceptable and useful.

Try to remember that when you are starting a website, I know I need to. As my scheduled launch date is quickly closing in I want to push it back and continue to work on a few things. This is a dangerous thought. Once I get an idea for what else I should add before launching a second one quickly comes, and there is another excuse for pushing it back.

To fight this I have decided to make a basic list. What do I need to have this site functional? As I made it the list expanded. Then I asked “do I ABSOLUTELY need it?” ¬†And if it was not critical then I’m going to continue to push myself to hold the page as a draft until it is ready and launch without it. Hopefully this will help keep me motivated to push out content quickly after it launches, and stop me from pushing back the clock.

4 Responses to “Avoid perfectionism”

  1. I agree totally!

    Try it, listen to the market place, reflect on it and then improve on it.

    • I must admit I’m rarely called a perfectionist. However, I do get caught up in trying to add to much or not being satisfied with where things are at.

  2. This so resonates with me Rob! I find that my perfectionism is often holding me back from posting to my blog/Twitter so then I lose the momentum behind what I wanted to write about in the first place. This is a helpful reminder for me to loosen up!

    Thanks!

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