Back to basics
I have a love-hate relationship with Web-work. It always starts with excitement, a rush of ideas, energy, passion, and all that niceness. That's all until the client goes, "But can we...". It's always a downhill from there. All the damn time.
Anyway, I've been taking in a lot of stuff lately. Some of which from the Gang Of Four book I started the other day (side note, I love how I can mention them in my conversation now, ha!). They ask: "How many times have you had design déjà-vu—that feeling that you've solved a problem before but not knowing exactly where or how?"
I've also come across a link on Google+ the other day linking to a post about Growth Driven Design (GDD) by Struto. Personally I find it to be a new variation of the Agile SDLC model. I digress. From their book though, I've had to remember the role of Goals (check out this S.M.A.R.T. goal setting tool), Personas (a fictional representation of your customer, research them and work around them) and the importance of friggin Metrics (I strive for an ideal that if I can't measure it, I won't make it).
After all this, I'm finding more and more a need for 'back to basics' approach in my work. I'll need to start cataloging stuff I'm doing and stop solving the same problem more than once. And when I do find better ways of doing solving these problems, apply them across the board (a concept GDD calls Transfer). There's value also in adopting a solid strategy in my work (as per a typical pre-cursor to design in any SDLC), in contrast to being flexible to every client.
It's all work in progress. I'm learning.