“All that work, and that’s it?”
I remember thinking this to myself a few weeks ago. I’d been building a new homepage for Know Your Company. But I didn’t feel I’d made much progress.
I’d rewritten copy, collected stories from current customers, designed several new pages, made the site more mobile-friendly…
Yet despite these changes, the site didn’t look much different than before. I began to question if I’d accomplished much at all.
Luckily, as I started to feel this way, I happened to be chatting with Jonas, a designer at Basecamp. He’s also the original designer of Know Your Company, and has helped me transition the product into its own company.
Jonas said this to me:
“Claire, go read what the homepage had before.”
I went and did that.
“Okay. Go read it now with your changes.”
I went and looked at my new site.
“See? Before, people looking at your site didn’t know what customers thought about your product. Before, they couldn’t request a product demo as easily. Now, your revised design helps people do those things. So don’t get discouraged because your design doesn’t look different. If you read it, you’ll see it’s much better than it was before.”
What a great reminder.
I’d forgotten my progress simply because it didn’t look different. When you just look at the difference, you might not see much. Text looks like text, regardless of what it’s saying. But if you read the difference, you see how big your changes actually are.
Progress isn’t measured by how different something looks. It’s measured by how useful something has become. Is it making this person’s life easier? Is it doing the job you want it to do? Reading the difference, not just looking at it, reveals your progress.
So the next time you doubt how much progress you’ve made, don’t look at the difference. Read the difference.
You’ve probably accomplished more than you give yourself credit for.