Something to Argue About

Recently, the tech comm team at my company decided to create a style guide for our screen shots. Everything was up for grabs. Should we go with 4 pixel black borders? What about 2 pixel gray ones? Should we use drop shadows? What size?

Now, I’m perfectly happy with whatever decisions are made, as long as we all stick with them. But the problem is that everyone else felt exactly the same way.

It’s like the old debate about what movie to rent. “I don’t care, you decide.” “No, you decide.” And an hour later, you end up watching a rerun of Friends and going to bed. (Or is that just me?)

Someone should decide everything

As far as I know, there’s only one good way out of this mess. One person has to go make all the decisions and deliver them. Even if that person doesn’t care, he or she needs to deliver a document that says something like:

  • We will use 5 pixel black borders.
  • We will use 2 pixel blue boxes around buttons.
  • We will use a 3 pixel, left-side drop shadow.
  • Etc.

Once it’s on paper, then everyone has something to argue about. I know that they said they didn’t care, but they may find that they have opinions that they didn’t know they had.

“Oh, wait, isn’t 5 pixels a bit much for a border?” “Wouldn’t red stand out more than blue?”

Of course, if they still don’t have opinions, then you’ve got your style guide right there. But either way, you’re a big step closer to getting what you aimed for in the first place. The key is to get something, anything, down on paper.

Does this make sense? Are there better ways do this? Is Friends still on at night?

 

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