Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition


The sixth and final element of COFFEE Design is Excellent.

What do I mean by excellent? Here's a simple definition: extremely good, outstanding.

Excellent means you took the time to do it right. Excellent means you didn't settle for good enough.

All of us know excellence when see it. Whether we're listening to a song, watching a television show or movie, reading a book, test driving an automobile, or using a website, we find excellence both in the overall sense of outstanding quality and an obsessive attention to detail.

In all honesty, there is a time and place for good enough. If you're working on a minor feature that only a few staff members will use, hours spent perfecting the interface may be wasted. If you've been given very little time and your deadline is quickly approaching, a functional solution is more important than a truly excellent one.

Most of the time, though, excellence is a matter of choice. The choice to listen to feedback. The choice to start over when something isn't working...and even when it is. The choice to take one more look at something because you just might see something that can be improved.

Each time we role out a new site, application, or page, we ask ourselves...

Could this be done any cheaper?
Could this be more open?
Could this be faster?
Could this be friendlier?
Could this be easier?
Could this be more excellent?

Web development is a continual process of learning and improving. The goal can never be perfection. The goal must be to do the absolute best you can with the time, skills, and knowledge you have.

When you look at your work a year later, you should always see things you would change and improve because you now have knowledge and skills that you didn't have before.

Don't ever let that take anything away from what you accomplished in the past. Give it everything you have and then let go and move on.