When you design for the web, what parameters are you designing for? Aesthetics? Reuse? Sign up? Clicks? Reuse? Conversion rate?
The rookie designer
What separates the seasoned and mature designer from the rookie is the end goal. The rookie designer designs for aesthetics as this is what got him interested in the first place. He lurks around CSS galleries to spot new clever ways to design yet unknown to the masses. His end goal is to astonish and make his peers go ‘WOW’.
The main problem with the rookie designer his end goal. He designs for his peers rather than for the end user, and for aesthetics rather than whatever the true goal of the design is. The rookie designer will make something beautiful and aesthetically great, but will at the same time overwhelm, surprise, and confuse the actual end user.
The seasoned and mature designer
The mature designer knows what he is designing: user experience rather than graphics. He also knows that good user experience only makes sense with a target. A good design can be measured, as the end goal has been made clear from the beginning. A mature designer knows what criteria will make his design a success – whether it is sign up, re-use, more clicks/page-views, reuse of design elements, to sell products, or in any other way increase a conversion rate.
The seasoned designer knows his toolbox well. He knows what works for what purpose and what does not. He spends his time on make the experience work instead of making the website “blink”. He is designing the experience so that nothing can go wrong instead of designing what could be cool if it worked. He is sticking to the patterns he has learned over time.