I have a strange addiction to Google Maps. You know those times when you hop on Facebook and suddenly it’s an hour later? I can do that on Google Maps. Although the application itself is ten years old, the ability to see where I am and what is around me never gets old. The act of zooming out and seeing where different places sit in relation to one another is always educational.
Sometimes I wish design projects were this way. I wish I could zoom out from where I’m at and see the pieces adjacent to the project, how they relate to one another, and what the next milestone is.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Well, not really.
The thing about every project is that there really isn’t a map. There’s no guarantee that the road leads where you planned for it to go. Some things about a project are in your control, and some things aren’t.
You may test a feature with your user group and have wild success, only to roll it out and have it flop. Why did that happen? You did everything you could to make it a success, right?
Of course you did. Like any scientist, take this as an opportunity to learn. Let the business people worry about “good” and “bad.” Your job as the designer is to figure it out. Make the map. Course correct as needed but at the end of the day you are a problem solver.
Try things. Fail. Learn. Apply. Succeed.