This visualisation of Crayola Crayon colours over the last century got me thinking. If I were a kid, drawing things with my Crayolas, I’m not sure I’d need all those colours. In fact maybe I’d be pretty happy drawing stuff with just the same 8 colours that had been keeping kids drawing stuff for 32 years, from 1903 to 1935.
Very often when we’re tweaking as part of a creative design process, or trying to figure out the best way to organise our agile boards etc, we make endless small changes searching for perfection. And we’re not making things better, just different.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t tweak, test, adapt and evolve. That’s exactly what you should be doing, but make sure you’re making whatever system you’re working on better, not just different. Developers should be writing unit tests, plus monitoring code coverage and complexity metrics. Usability folks need to be actively testing and measuring the impact of their changes through customer usability studies and managers need to be engaged with their teams, rather than ‘command and controlling’ them to know when they are just making a mess.
Today when you’re going back and forwards on some choice ask yourself – “Am I making this better ? Or just different ?”