Many advertisers claim that their software will get us to the desired result in a heartbeat. To what extent could this be true?
Everywhere we look, we can see ads for magical development tools: drag & drop website builders, various plugins and other software… They claim that these will help us achieve our goal quickly and easily. Some of them even tell us that we can build a website and go live within an hour… And what’s more, our end product will be totally professional! Sounds awesome, right? Well, I would even say that it sounds miraculous.
Obviously, the “quick & easy” argument still has great power: in all professional fields, we would love to do our work without hurdles, without remaining stuck for days on some frustrating issues. Our time is scarce, and we need to deliver. Therefore, when we hear about a potential helpful tool that would make our life easier, instinctively we listen. We can’t help it.
But, as we know, “With great power [insert Spider-Man quote here]”. Once we sit in front of our new digital magical wand, we are possibly faced by a dilemma. In the tech field, these tools often want to cover the broadest possible range, in order to attract large crowds of customers. Therefore, they either offer standardised options that are indeed quick and easy to implement, or display really complex settings for actual customisation. And this is where the responsibility of advertisers comes in: what are they actually telling us?
If the message is that we can build exactly what we want in a snap of a finger, then it will only be true in a very small number of extremely lucky cases. In all the others, we will want to tailor more or less everything according to our wishes and taste. And that is normal! We want to show personality and individuality to our clients, demonstrate strong branding to our customers and business partners. This is when the most important factor of our project manifests itself:
How serious are we about it?
If we want to use the end product in a professional context, then it will need to be properly designed and functional for its specific target audience. And there is no other way around it: good work takes time and effort. If we want to prove the “quick & easy” argument to be right, then we will have a hard time juggling between fast work and high quality expectations. Delivering a bespoke product requires a very detailed approach, often coming back to the same task during several sessions. And again, this is normal: we need to sleep on certain things in order to see more clearly what remains to be done. We achieve our goal of perfection progressively, layer by layer.
On a side note, several clients of mine tried various drag & drop website builders: they listened to the empowering slogans and started to develop their website by themselves, because it was supposed to go like a breeze. They also faced the aforementioned dilemma: “Do I want to work quickly or properly?” The “quick” choice led to underwhelming results, while the desire for perfection brought many hours of trials and doubts upon them.
The illusion of easiness is a dead end
If we look at our life experiences, then we realise that everything meaningful that we achieved came at the cost of real hard work. If we mean it, then it will take time, effort, skill, patience and discipline. So let’s accept this: it is not quick nor easy to make something beautiful come true. And that is the best thing about it! We accept the challenge, face some hurdles, overcome them, learn more along the way, and then savour our success even more.
In a world where the culture of shortcuts has become a standard, it might be difficult to stand by the somewhat old-fashioned values of rigour and effort. And yet, a shift in attitudes towards the more patient side would come with great benefits: taking a step back to look at the big picture, planning for the long term, thinking about scalability, are all really demanding and time-consuming processes, but they can grant more safety and therefore peace of mind in the future.
So, again, how serious are we about our project? If it is just a one-off gig, expected to bring results on the short term without much perspective for further developments, then we probably won’t want to put too much care into it. But if we want to make an impact, get known, and evolve as time goes on, then we better adopt the humble and wise approach of all great strategists. I prefer the latter. Let’s not rush towards quick results, but bet instead on longevity. Then we can expect the best outcome.