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Drupal for Designers by Dani Nordin

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Chapter 22. After the Handoff—The Project Retrospective

Unfortunately, this critical step [of reflecting on a project after its completion] is nearly always ignored by professional designers. Assessment implies internal criticism, something many companies prefer to leave up to public relations or external product reviews. The assessment [of the project’s success] must be at a user and project level, rather than a quality assurance level, and benchmarks for success have generally not been developed or acknowledged within corporate America. In many high-pressure design consultancies, to reflect is to waste time. Reflection is not productive and is frequently viewed as a poor use of money and resources.[60]

The case study: some designers swear by them as a valuable marketing tool; others refuse to do them, insisting that there’s just “too much work to do” or that images of their work will speak for themselves. I’ve even heard designers say that clients don’t like reading case studies. I’ve never seen this, but then, I’ve never quite subscribed to the idea of being “too busy to read.”

Let me state one thing emphatically: reflecting on your work—whether you share it in the form of case studies or not—is vitally important to your career as a designer. Whether you are part of a team, are an independent designer, or are working in corporate America, taking time to think about a project—how it went, what went right, how you can make things better next time—is one of the most important things ...

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