Designing with the future in mind

As designers we can often become entrenched in working on tiny details because they matter. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in the intricacies and become short-sighted on a longer term view.

Short-sightedness can cause design challenges which can be ironed out fairly easily when you’re looking at your long term plan.

For products, roadmaps can aid you well. Depending on the products I’ve worked on in the past and currently, I aim to keep an eye on the items which are coming up in 4 weeks, 2 months and 6 months.

I’m confident enough to say that anything in a roadmap in the 4 week to 2 months range will definitely have an impact on what you’re currently working on. Whether it’s a large or small impact, it will be there. Your big challenge could prove irrelevant if you look at your long term view, something you’re stressing over might not even be in the product in 3 months time because in 2 months time it’s being phased out in favour of something else.

Alternatively, you may need to not over-design something. If you know in your roadmap that a new feature is coming which may indeed take up room in your design that you’re currently trying to fill, don’t stress things out. It’s ok to not over-design something if it has no impact whatsoever on your current product especially if it impacts something in the future.

You can iterate quickly, adjust where necessary and complete your to-do’s with confidence when you can rationalise your decision making.