As a designer, I was a fan of a Green Line Principle a few years ago. It’s quite a funny way how to deal with customer’s remarks you’re making a design for. Design for pretty much anything. However, in order to use it in practice, you need to know what you’re doing, you need to have an overview of customer’s needs and you need to to be able to estimate the level of professionalism the customer and project requires.
What is it about? In essence, it’s a way to prevent customer, colleagues, your boss to dismantle your original idea into some weird and ill-sorted creation that you will eventually have trouble of putting your your name on it. So, you will create a modern design with thoughtful ergonomics and emphasis on essential details and once you’re proud of the result, you will draw a green line across the whole product.*
The result of marking up: „Get rid of that green line and it’s gonna be OK“ … :-)
* the green line can be anything extremely inappropriate which will draw attention — image, text color, ugly button…
Is it arrogant? — Yes, it is. Does it prevent the problem of desperate reworking and having more and more versions with more shortcomings than the original one? — Yes. But today, after 20 years of experience, I can only say the following: If you really care about the project, DON’T DO IT.
The Green Line Principle will solve your immediate problems, but you won’t move forward. In addition, there is a risk of finding out that you really don’t know everything about the project and it might go wrong at the end. And sometimes it also happens that the “green line” will have to stay there… Are you ready for it?
If you really care about the project, use your energy rather on explaining to your customer, colleagues or anyone else involved as to why you designed it in such a way and what are the benefits of such solution. Become your own sales representative and sell your idea to them. If you find out that you forgot about something relevant — incorporate it. Who else can do it after all, if not you?
Yes, it requires lots of energy, it’s challenging to your psychic and willingness to listen, but it’s the only fair solution to making successful projects. If you have a PARTNER for your work, then communicate together. If you don’t have one, use the Green Line Principle, otherwise it will end up like this:
Team Pixenio never uses the Green Line Principle. Never.