Improve your designs with ITERATION

Improve your designs with ITERATION

– Fact. Your first idea is not always your best. Sometimes it can be, on a rare occasion, but I would argue that the
majority of the time, it isn’t. In this video, I want to
talk to you about iteration and why it’s so important
in the design process. I’m gonna demonstrate
it through an example of a terrible first idea of my own. ♪ What I do ♪ ♪ Is adore you all of the time ♪ – A while ago, I made a video
about designing a landing page in Sketch, and in that video, I was just walking through one page, basically showing the
tools that I was using and kind of my workflow for
laying out a page in Sketch. But I got so many questions on that video from people asking me why
I bothered to design it and why I didn’t just go
straight into coding it. And the answer to that is iteration. In my experience, the first
draft I do of a landing page is never the best version. There was always ways
that I can improve it and to better solve the problem
and get the message across. Understandably, I didn’t
show that in this video. It was just showing me
laying out one page, so it’s fair enough that people asked, but I wanted to make
this video and show you an iteration process that
I went through recently in designing a graphic to
advertise some Evergreen webinars that we’re producing at ConvertKit. Are you ready for it? All right. This was my first idea. It’s not bad. The background is the same that we have in our presentation template, so it’s something that will
then be familiar to them in the webinar, this red with
the pattern in the corner. But overall, all of these pieces just don’t feel like they’re unified. It all feels a little bit bitsy. There’s not enough
negative space or contrast. And so with my next idea, I thought I’d try a light background because that would allow
me to play with color a little bit more where
the red was a bit limiting. I tried it all centered, so
it is looking more unified, but also there was just too much stuff and the logo we had to go left-aligned, which is kind of weird. For the next run, I tried
it without the Register Now, which looked a lot cleaner,
but that’s the call to action and it was kind of important,
so I needed to include it. So going back to the one that
had all the pieces in it, I realized that my main
problem with this was that everything was kind of too
even weight in hierarchy. I needed to create some
more contrast somehow. So I decided to do this
by making a feature out of this lovely photo of
Isa, my wonderful workmate, who is our webinar producer and she hosts these Evergreen webinars. I chose to make her photo the main image rather than the illustration
or something more graphical because I know from past research that people connect really
well with other people. It just puts a more personal touch to it. So this is getting better, but it still feels a bit disjointed, having the HOSTED BY Isa
Adney on the side there away from everything else. So next I tried bringing that in and using this little
hand-drawn arrow element to link to it, which I
thought was pretty cool. Then I tried it with a
logo on top of the photo just to free up some
space there by the text. I didn’t like that, so I tried it back on the right-hand side, but a lot smaller. This was getting close but something was still feeling off to me and I wanted to really push this graphic a little bit further, and I realized it was this
straight edge on the photo that was bothering me. In the right-hand corner,
we’ve got this beautiful, like swoopy illustration. The hard edges of the photo weren’t really fitting in well with that. So the next thing I tried was marking it with a nice swoopy line to
make those fit together better. I tried out a different
illustration at the side, but things were just
feeling too busy with this. I needed to try and
simplify the graphic a bit. I took away the illustration
and put the logo there instead. Didn’t like that. Thought I’d have a long
logo underneath instead, and that was better, but the
thing wrong with this graphic was the center point, the
point where you eye goes. It felt a little bit off
having the photo at the side and then also the text
kind of at the side. Like almost, if the graphic had weight, then it would be doing this. So I needed to make some more balance and move the photo over
to the right-hand side and that meant that the text could align with the left-hand side of the graphic. A much more balanced feeling. This Hosted by was
feeling a bit odd though. The arrangement here was just a bit weird. So I felt that for the sake of balance I should drop the arrow
and put the Hosted by in line with the title. Then the last change I made
was to revisit the shapes that I had around Isa’s photo. I tried some of those colors back when I had the
illustration at the side. So now we were kind of
missing our main brand color from this piece. Like there wasn’t the main
color that was standing out. So I swapped around the colors a bit. And this is the final graphic. So we went from this to
this, all through iteration. Now like I said, that first
graphic was not terrible. I don’t think it was great but
it would have done the job. But going through this
process of iteration, critiquing my own work, trying things out, I reached this point
where we’ve got a graphic that I feel is much more beautiful, much more pleasing to the eye, and also much easier for someone to read. So I really want to encourage
you to push yourself and move past your first idea. I hope this video showed you
why iteration was so important and gave you some insights
into the little things that I look out for and how
I decide to iterate my work. If you enjoyed this video,
if you found it useful, then what I’d like you to do, instead of giving it a thumbs-up, although you can do that as well, but what I would really like is for you to share it with a friend. Share it with someone who
you think would benefit from watching this. I would love to hear in the comments if your design process is
something similar to this. Do you end up duplicating a
lot of art-boards like I do? Let me know down below in the comments. If you’re new to my channel,
then please hit the Subscribe. I make new videos about
design every single week and I’d love to have you
back here for the next one. All right. I hope you have a good day. Go do good work, and
I’ll see you next time. (funky music) ♪ I like this ♪

78 thoughts on “Improve your designs with ITERATION

  1. Great video. I'm constantly iterating on my designs. Unfortunately i just never get to a point where I'm happy with it 😂

  2. Wow!! I love how you showed your iteration process. I don't iterate every design I do, but after watch this, I'm inspired to experiment more.

  3. Thank you for this video! It totally shows the importance of trying different ideas/layouts for designs. This is exactly why I prefer to work with deadlines than with hours because often it takes me many versions of a design to get to /the one/.

    (sadly my current full-time job doesn't really allow me to try stuff because they're all about fast design 🙃)

  4. The Problem I have with the design is, that the Photo looks like a stock Photography of a "beautiful smiling Women". And because people, not only designers but the every day joe as well, is so used to be tricked in advertisement, They don't trust Ads like these anymore. So this kind of composition works better if you would let the arrow and tell the viewer that yes, this women is actually the speaker. Of course, the Context is important here. If you'd have more of these "cards" with other speakers, viewers would get the whole photo thing without having to keep the arrow to point from the name to the photo.

    What we also still don't know is the context this "card" is being placed in. The choice of Color scheme and Sizes of elements would be of real importance.

    Nice to see the process 😉

  5. Iteration looks useful,
    I use this process in most of my projects.

    I am loving your Design Life pod-cast,
    its something i listen to as daily inspiration.

    Thank you for all your hard work 🙂 !

  6. At each iteration I was like, yeah that how it should look and then you come up with an even better working one 😀 awesome! Definitely a good piece of advice.

  7. 1) Watched the video till the end……DONE

    2) Clicking the like button…….DONE

    3) Comments……. DONE

    4) Shared……NOT DONE

  8. And a video sugestion 🙂
    Your video reminded me another topic I've been constantly noticing:

    It seems lately branding design is going trough a 'generic' approach. First visual identities started getting minimalistic, but nowdays they seem so clean and empty that they fit any design. I'm starting to feel things shifted in a way they are made empty so that they can 'fit into any first iteration'.

    Not sure if you ever had thoughts about this but it could be a good topic (thus I would like to know you input in this).
    Your video reminded me about this cause you basicly took your first interaction, a generic banner, and branded it over iterations.

  9. Hi Charli, great video! Now I was wondering, how do you know when that's it? I mean, as u mentioned the first one might have not been the best but it would certainly do the job. Each iteration afterwards looked better but someway in the middle and onwards to me it felt like it could potentially be the final product as they all looked very nice! So is there any technical look u give rather than "well, I feel like this is what I wanted!" which is very feeling-driven approach an can be different for everyone! I really enjoyed this video!

  10. Thanks for this video! Yes I've been going through this process when doing UI work. Sometimes it can be so frustrating when you don't get that "Good touch" of your design. But the process goes on and on until you get it.

    Anyway, it's good to see this video 😉

  11. Really interesting insight Charli! I agree the first graphic would have done the job, but the final version is better, and you wouldn't have got to that point without the process.

  12. LOVE IT!! The layout iteration process was quite insightful (if that's the word lol) Thanks for sharing.
    Well for me its almost similar but varies depending much on each project deadline.

  13. GREAT job on these! And I love how you thought that the text needed more contrast. That's a huge thing I think most people miss and I believe you did a great job here.

  14. not just you, but it also made me look at things differently a little better now, thanks for sharing your process. keep us posted!

  15. Y E S

    So many more ideas can be produced, and the refinement becomes a lot stronger when you are in the mindset of doing a lot of iterations to explore a stronger concept.

  16. I totally agree with you, iterations are so important!
    It’s good to get an idea on “paper” and work it out but no matter how much u thought about it beforehand, there’s usually always sth that u couldn’t see until u actually do see it designed and then u can reevaluate your decisions and make changes. That’s usually how I go about it.
    Although I try to get the basic layout or hierarchy doing simple sketches on paper just because I’m much faster that way and don’t spend hours doing and redoing a design but still, there’s always sth to improve once it’s actually designed ☺️

    I really like that u put the pic on the right side in the end! It feels so much more balanced and that way reading from left to right u start with all the necessary infos and “end” on a friendly face. Best way to do it in my opinion ☺️ although I would’ve positioned the shapes a bit differently to frame her face a bit better but maybe that’a just personal preference^^

    Either way, great video!

  17. Love it. Thanks for sharing this process. Too often I sit down to try and create a finished product immediately, but iteration's where its at!

  18. It's really true. I'm not a designer myself, just a developer, and I lernt that this is really important because in each iteration it gets better. I only wished I got in design major than CS.

  19. Randomly I was searching for design inspiration, and I landed on this video. And, I agree that iteration makes everything better. I will continue watching your channel, I hope will learn a lot of things. Best of luck BDW!

  20. I'm pretty sure I've never used my first idea for the final design 😂I'm always iterating and for example I did 27 versions of a dynamic logo for my final project in design school haha

  21. How much attention do you pay to SEO in your design work? The keyword LIST BUILDING is not prominent in your design. Why not?

  22. Is there something that you do when you know that the design you've got isn't the best it could be, but you cannot think of a way to change it? Or you just want to see what it would look like in a different way but again can't think of what could be changed?

  23. No matter what kind of design that you do, iteration is really important, but sometimes i have trouble to iterate my design due to limited of time schedule. Maybe when i have more free time, i can iterate my old design to be better

  24. Holy guacamole! I loved this…can you make a series where you show how to critique a design piece as you design it…(maybe a livestream where people bounce of ideas and you choose one to create and have people watch it) because just looking at your iteration process was so enlightening…

  25. Great, Charli! Thanks for sharing your process. The "_v2_final_reallyFinalNow_V34_final2" is always there, even though we learn to rename files properly. I've been working a lot with Affinity Photo/Designer recently and, gladly, there's this thing called "Snapshot"—which is similar to layer comps in Photoshop—in which we can store as many altered versions as we want in the same document, being able to recall at any stage or create a new project from that snapshot. It saves a lot of time.

  26. i duplicate a ton…(like maybe too much lol)! i like to be able to return to a previous iteration after going down a path that didn't end up working, just like you displayed a couple times! even if the design isn't anywhere near done, if I'm deciding to go down a different path than i started out initially…well, time to duplicate 😀

  27. Nice video. Although I have dabbled in designing I am now finding myself more interested in it as the next phase of my career and this video was so helpful. Not to mention the fact you are a very beautiful lady. Will be looking at more of your videos for tips and ideas. Thank you

  28. I never go with the first draft. At that point I’m just getting started and looking at my designs the next day is mostly a sobering experience. With all of my designs I have to go through some sort of mudslide to get me on my feet again, but it’s worth it. I’m really brutal with versions. I throw away a lot.

  29. A great article on this topic and

  30. I go through MANY iterations at my job. I am an in-house designer for a Book Company B2C & B2B.
    When making sale graphics I have minimum three artborads going with different iterations and then from there it goes to about 20 until I can narrow down which in I want to progress with. After that it's just small tweaks.
    And then it usually get overhauled by someone above me and I have to make something not nearly as well designed -.-

  31. I am not alone! This was a great video Charli. I always measured the success of my design projects on that first idea, that first layout. But 98% of the time that first idea needs to be changed 10 times until I am happy. After the whole move this to the left, that to the right, export, enlarge etc. I feel drained and a bit like a failure as a designer. In the meantime, this whole process had a name: Iteration. You just smashed one of my "design blockers". Thanks, Charli.

  32. Hello ma'am! I am new subscriber in your list. Well, What sort of things should I know as a web designer? I hope you help me!

  33. I completely agree with you .. sometimes I wonder how good my design gets after iterations .. and you are a great Youtuber and designer .. ❤️

  34. So curious to see how you organise your duplicate designs? At what point do you deside "ok let's make a copy and work further on that"?

  35. Hej CharliMarie, thank you so much for the vid! Very useful!
    I'm a selftaught freelance graphic designer/calligrapher/handletterer/etc. who is just starting selling his first products. My next goal is it to study webdesign for myself. That's the reason i wanna watch on video of your channel per day and process it.

    And yes, i think iteration is very important. I have a very similar workflow where i sketch out my first idea and have then at least 10 artboards in illustrator or Photoshop with many variations and kind of new designs of it.

    Advantage: You learn to balance out design and who knows, maybe one of the artboards could fit for another project.

    When i develop a handlettered piece i start of with a pen and paper sketch and do refinements where much often i realize i can connect letters or fill empty spaces. This could be up to 10 sketches. Ink it, take a photograph and continue in photoshop where i discover new possibilities to refine the letters or the strokes. Putting this into Illustratrator and making a Vectorart out of it the same story.

    So yes, Iteration and Balancing out the Design is very important! Thanks again!

    All the best,

  36. Another great video, thank you Charli. I feel that having a second photo of Isa was also key. Sometimes our layout options can be limited due to the lack of assets provided by the client ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  37. I’m so glad this is an actual thing, in college I was always making multiple different ideas for my projects and always thought I was just indecisive

  38. It's SO valuable to see process documented in this way. It's like the cliff notes from your brain ad your worked toward the solution.

    This process also reminds me of the writing process of just getting your idea down on paper, and then edit, edit, edit, refine, make concise, edit, etc.

  39. Iteration in sketching ideas really helps to clear your mind of what does and doesn’t work for sure, but you shouldn’t spend so long on your early ideas as you’ll start to hate them.

  40. have not seen your videos in a while. and this video came across just at the right time. I do this all time, and sometimes I think I do this too much. loving you showing the process you took to show the end results. awesome, thanks for these videos.

  41. I love the video! found it through school having to research iteration in design. You did a great job talking us through the process.

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