Weightshift recently completed a new website for a great client. We started the project with a brief and scope, which we discussed at length before we delved into the design. All normal protocol for our process.

In the initial presentation, we revealed our concepts. Internally, we found our interpretation to be different and perhaps uncharacteristic of our style. It felt bold and a little daring. At least, that’s what we thought.

Let me back up a little. Some years ago, I considered myself an adaptable designer. A person who designs chameleon-like, acclimating to whatever values the client represented. Which, to a degree, is true.

After the first iteration of this recent project, we received very productive and detailed feedback. Essentially, though, it wasn’t positive. We had failed here. We love feedback, though, and we never, ever, ever take it personally. Such assessments should be taken into thoughtful consideration so as to make the thing you’re making better.

After talking through and thinking further about it, it dawned on me: Yes, I do have a style, and therefore, the studio has a style. And that is why clients come to us.

I began on the second round and embraced my natural tendencies: I approached the site in the way I would innately create it. To forget stepping into someone else’s shoes and to do the job we were hired for and the client was attracted to. To apply the kind of details and touches we’ve assembled on past assignments. To let 15 years of honing design craft into a project that we wanted to make great.

This version was the winner.

We do stellar work for our clients, which is exactly the kind of results they expect. That’s why they hire us. We do our job by taking their brand, product or idea and running it through our lens of design and development. I had forgotten, in a momentary lapse, to be so different. I had forgotten that we have instincts and skills that others see from the outside.

As designers, the magnifying lens is none more prevalent than the one we cast on ourselves. We can be our own worst critic.

Trust yourself to do good work. Trust yourself to do great work.

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