On Being Obsessed with Detail

Good design work lives in the details. Getting something just right is delicate, intricate, painstaking work, but it repays the effort with interest.

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

Getting every detail of a design right is always a tremendous challenge. It requires an obsessive focus on minutiae and an intense and sustained deliberation on elements most people consider trifling.

But for a particular turn of mind, no work is so deeply engaging and rewarding, so profoundly and thoroughly satisfying.