Why do people fear revisions?

Revisions are the key to great work. Yup, I said it!

Without revisions, nothing would be as successful whether we’re talking about large corporations, web design projects or concert pianists. The short version is that thanks to revisions we can tweak and adjust to compose our best work.

I’ve noticed something strange recently; people fear revisions or are somehow intimidated by them. My impression is that they are so committed to the effort they’ve put into the first take that it just must pay off. Letting go of this fear and assumption can be truly liberating.

Revisions, trial and error, and iterations are a good thing especially when we talk about life or business in general. That’s because your work gets better the more you do it. Without revisions and iterations, you’d not have become an expert in your fields. Additionally, keep in mind that things always change and it’s only natural to try to adapt to those changes. Without adjusting, businesses can’t grow.

Let’s agree to a universal truth

I think we can all agree that the first try is rarely the best. The first headline is rarely the best, so is the first draft of a Facebook post or a webinar outline. The ideas are more often than not sound. It’s just the details that need tweaking and adjusting in order to get the best possible results. Sometimes it takes one or two revisions; other times it’s a whole fucking lot. That’s life for you.

The web design example

Although I am great at what I do and I can create strategic user flow and stunning designs, I will never get it right on the first try. You know why? Because I have to work with someone else each and every time. That’s why I meet with them many times before I start working on anything. In those meetings, I get to know them as much as possible. With that information in hand, I then make my first move. Next, I invite my clients to review my attempt. So far, I’ve never been extremely off but I’ve also never been 100% on point either. That’s when we begin to iterate, tweak and, you guessed it, revise. Maybe the colors weren’t just right, or the layout wasn’t as smooth as it needed to be. Perhaps we need to try the second color option with the first layout option. … you get the idea.

Over the years, I’ve adhered to the copy-first approach which minimizes unexpected requests and complete changes of directions. This process also allows me to approach each project one step at a time in which I don’t move the design project forward without getting the previous stage at least 85% there.

Side note

If you’re considering hiring a web designer, please make sure their design process allows you to have input into the project. I empathize that it can be a scary investment and I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from the clients. However, a designer who allows revisions or iteration is someone who is on your side to make sure you get a design that’s just right for you and your business needs.

The takeaway

Revisions are the key to success because they allow us to improve the roughness of our work – no matter what the work may be. Additionally, it’s just about impossible to get anything and everything right on the first try. Instead of aiming for off-the-bat perfection, embrace the process of getting it right over time with revisions. Keep going, keep adjusting whatever you’re currently working on and soon you’ll see it’s going to be amazing!