A few months ago, Jess and I were giving our website a critical once-over. Something wasn’t quite right. When Jess mentioned that the sidebar was a little old fashioned, I cocked my head and suddenly saw that it wasn’t just the sidebar—the whole site was old fashioned. And not in a good way.
Our old website didn’t really speak to our work, and it definitely didn't speak to the clients we worked for.
So we began the redesign process. And it was hard. So hard! Part of the hardness is that the medium—and what is relevant to it—is constantly changing. But an even harder part of the hardness is the impossibility of achieving the personal perfection for which every professional writer aims.
I assumed we’d get stuck negotiating big-picture elements. And coming up with a tone that sounded like it originated from our brains and could be uttered in our voices (without the obligatory eye roll accompanying pretty much all industry jargon) was the worst. “Authentic” and “curated” are so overused we don’t want to write them—or read them—ever again. Even actually valuable words like “content” started to feel weirdly loaded and vacuous.
But we got stuck on smaller stuff, too. Image proportions, font sizes and weights, the number of case studies to include, and the persistent and omnipresent question of whether (and how) to flout rules of grammar for the sake of tone and style prompted debate and soul searching.
The interminability of the process began to prove the old perfect-is-the-enemy-of-done adage. Our debates shifted from the perfect manifestation of our business vision, to the perfect way to show how we can help organizations, to the perfect serif and sans-serif fonts, to the perfect use of a comma splice. It was clear that we were ready to be done.
And we maybe missed out on perfect, but I think we achieved the best iteration of our current vision for Modern Writing Services. We’ve also (and very helpfully!) illustrated that perfection is a process—it’s best not to aim for it alone.
English PhD, former arts administrator, obsessive cook, native East Coaster, mom to two rabblerousers.
English PhD, former high school teacher, obsessive organizer, native Midwesterner, mom to three troublemakers.