I once had a 1:1 meeting with my manager at Disney and asked the question, “how do you know if the visual design is good enough? It gets so subjective when it gets to this point in the user experience.”
He said, “it’s about feelings. If it feels good to you, then it’s heading in the right direction. It may not be the exact answer you’re looking for, but you know it’s heading in the right direction.”
Personally, I thought that was a bullshit answer.
I wanted something more scientific, something more process oriented, and a little more depth into the approaches of visual design. I was new to making things look “prettier” and more visually appealing.
I looked to nature, went on hikes, went back to my roots of what makes me happy and feel good inside, like skateboarding, amateur DJ’ing, playing volleyball, seeing friends and family and -of course- spending time with my girlfriend. And not to forget, music also inspired me too, always.
At the end of the day, while everything I mentioned above is a few ways I grab inspiration, my manager was right. It’s about feeling. It’s about having reasons as to why a decision was made; that it has intent; and that there’s a story attached to it.
It’s about feeling good about your design decisions. If there’s something missing, call it out for what it is and keep pushing. Push until you can’t (or shouldn’t) push no more, or to get a second pair of eyes on it in case you went too far off the edge.
I guess I never thought about it until now, which is why I felt compelled to call this agency FeelGood Design. It’s a reminder to myself that I should make designs based on what I feel is right. And of course, to make sure those that are involved [in the project] feel good about it too.
So there you have it: make something that feels good.