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I’ve noticed a trend in design, I call it the Revision Hole.

You present an interesting idea to the client and they love it. Some revisions are made. Then some more. And more. And more. The revisions restructure the original idea enough that you’re now revising revisions.

Eventually, you find yourself in a big dirty design hole your client dug for the two of you. You can’t even see the original idea, you’re in too deep.

This is the Revision Hole. It’s usually never the best place to be, but it’s the place the client feels most comfortable. You are to stay inside this hole for the duration of the client relationship.

The client will get frustrated with their own hole, but if you try to leave the hole they will get confused and upset. The hole is too deep, it’s impossible to see outside the hole. As far as the client cares, the hole feels safe, and anything outside of the hole is potentially dangerous.

Invariably, the client that dug the hole for you will have a change of heart. They will leave the hole overnight. From their new vantage point outside the hole, life will look a lot different. Looking down and seeing you in this hole, their only logical assumption will be that you made this hole yourself and the hole is the only thing you’re capable of creating.

“Nice hole! But we’d like to go in a different direction.” Awesome, you think to yourself. You can definitely go in a different direction!

“I’m sorry but that hole is really deep and you’re the only one in it, and I really can’t see you designing your way out of there.”

I don’t have a solution for the Revision Hole aside from being aware of its existence and being mindful to design some ladders into the system.

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Zachary Hayes
Designer + Developer

Travel Blog
zach@zachhay.es