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Single round review

When working on client projects you allow for a series of review and revision cycles. The idea is to give clients and agencies a controlled way to work through design issues while controlling scope.

We are working on a project right now that is going through this but we are discovering that with each successive review the user experience is not getting better, if anything it’s getting worse.

We realized that this is true with almost every project. More reviews is detrimental to quality, time and budget. But why does the most productive feedback come from the first review?

One of the conclusions of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is that we make very good decisions in an instant. As a society we believe that logical, process driven, thought is better than instinctual decisions. We don’t trust our gut, especially in a group business situation, where decisions need to be rationally supported. But, often our first reaction or decisions are far better than ones we agonize over.

We become profoundly worse decision makers the more we think about it. Whether you call it losing the forest for the trees or analysis paralysis reviewing things 4 or 5 times just makes the project longer, more expensive and produces a worse product.

We also become worse decision makers the more information we introduce into the process. It seems counter intuitive but we make better decisions with less information.

What if…

  1. Projects only had one review and revision per major deliverable.
  2. In reviews, changes could be made but at the end of the review the change list could not have more feature additions than feature removals. So for every change that added something you would need to remove something. Ideally you would have a deficit in that you would remove more than you added.
  3. Single review projects, could be better and cheaper than multi-review projects. Any clients want to give it a try?

Geoff Teehan More posts by Geoff Teehan