Ever since I’ve started working, I’ve always had this… this unrelenting drive for things to be their best. The best take. The best proposal, the best set up, mic placement… nitpicking at the details. In the last few years… talking about the most minute design issues. The thickness of the borders, the glyphs, buttons, tap targets, UX / UI… etc. I wanted if I couldn’t change the design, for it to look as best as it could. I fought every single battle. Every single ticket, bug, issue. I debated, I wanted the best out there because I worked on it. That was a reflection of me… My work. I was able to point at it and say… This is what I worked on and was completely fine in doing so.
But that was when I decided on what I worked on, with which clients or I was somewhere where I just work on one product (on many platforms).
But now I work on many projects, with different clients… I don’t have much say on design, I have to choose my battles and then when I do it half-heartily. I know I will be veto. I can’t straight out say, this is something I worked on, I fought for this feature, this UX.
A few weeks back, during testing I notice that there was an issue that an icon would switch color when doing a specific function. It was on an older OS and by the breakdown logs, only a small percentage of users would ever see it. I wrote a ticket, but I marked as trivial. I wrote the email stating that I have found a trivial issue and I was signing off on the build. It was ready to go public.
Later that night I was bothered. I was bothered that it didn’t bother me. Yes, it was a small issue. Yes, only a small percentage of users would see it. Yes, it was trivial. But it wasn’t right. We weren’t treating the user with respect. I didn’t even try to feign to fight of the user.
For the first time I’m not working on projects that I have hand selected and that I emotionally or mentally invested in. It’s different. I have always done my best work because I had picked the project, the client, where I wanted to work. My name was there and it was public. I, Kenn R, worked on this hard and this was released because I know this is good and the user will like it. Now I find the issues and someone else decides if they are enough to stop shipping. It’s different. I need to continue quality work, but I don’t get to decide what is fixed, what can slide through. And this is starting to affect how I perceive projects. My quality and productivity are being affected because mine says doesn’t carry as much weight anymore. I’m finding it harder to focus on the minute, and fear that will eventually hamper even some medium issues.
It bothers me… that little things like this will not longer bother me. The reason I am good at these things it’s because the little things bothers me. I have to be bothered. I have to care. In the past, I’ve taken some Adderalll here and there, but only at the tail end of project to finish strong, to not relent so close to shipping, but now, I think that a small dose might be something I might need. Even if it’s just the placebo effect. Something needs to change and for the time being I want to stick it out. I will not always be able to work on projects that I personally invested in or love. But I need to be better that the last few weeks of work. Not because the project deserves it, but because I am better than that.