Dragging out a rectangle in Sketch

A blank document illuminates my screen. I tap the A key, and draw an artboard…

The early stages

Questions begin to emerge, as I start setting up my document.

I draw out rectangles, set text, pick colours, toggle grids, rulers, and guides on, off, and on again.

I place and move elements—in 1 and 10 pixel increments.

Sometimes, it comes together quickly. But sometimes, the questions continue…

What dimensions should I make this artboard?
What base spacing size should I use?
How wide should the container be?
How many columns?
Should I align this to the content or padding pox?
Should I include a ½ sized outer gutter on container?
How do I best word this?
What icon can I draw to best illustrate this concept?
Is this layout working?
Will this ever look right?
Am I even any good at this?
Where I am
Where I want to be

The murky middle process

With visual design, compositions have a way of not looking quite right until all the pieces fall in to place.

While there are principles that can guide your decision making, it can be demoralising while in the midst of a project, still moving from where you are with a design, to where you want to be.

The most important thing to do at this point can be difficult, but it is simple.

Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going
Keep going

Timebox. Practice. Present. Receive feedback. Repeat.

For me, it seems there are no shortcuts. No easy way out. It’s a numbers game. It all comes down to the hours you put in.

If you’re like me, arbitrary deadlines are actually a very important tool. Don’t let side projects languish—finish them. Release them.

And don’t let taste and perfectionism paralyse you.

Something you finish that isn’t perfect is better than something perfect that you never finish.