Compromise in design

I spoke to a group of journalism students this week about online interactive information graphics. It went well but some of their questions gave me pause. They asked me about compromises in my designs.

Why the content often was not in one unified interface. (Better SEO.) They asked about a project that had a great video but the graphics were weak. (We ran out of time.) They asked why one story got a special report treatment but not another. (One had a better subject and photos.) All very good reasons. The projects in question were successful and even won awards. I thought about this a bit and realized that I try to approach a compromise, not as a setback or a defeat — but as a design challenge. That’s my goal, to create the best design possible while working around the normal compromises that are often made in a real work situation.

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