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99designs, 1 Failure

Lesson Learned: Don't put all your effort into one product right from the start, especially when working for a client you don't know. Make many iterations, refine and combine the ones they like best. The work you love may not be right for the client's vision, and even a very polished design can be passed over for something (or someone) else, don't take it personally, just dust yourself off and try again.


My first - and so far only - attempt at creating a fully fleshed out iPhone app design was a submission to 99designs. I made what I thought was a beautiful, cohesive design that was easy to use and met every requirement the client had listed in their brief. I poured a lot of time up-front into the first iteration, but they didn't like what I'd made, and even after a couple further refinements of the idea based on their feedback, I barely squeezed a 3 Star rating out of them. It was hard on my self esteem and hard not to take personally when I'd only produced this one thing that I (and a few other people I showed it to for feedback) thought was amazing, but the only people who mattered were obviously looking for something else.

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