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I am a perfectionist, much to my detriment, and a “1px perfectionist” to boot. I will spend way too much time fixing something that is literally off by just a single pixel because I can see the error, even if my client and his site visitors are unlikely to notice it.
Although this level of insanity isn’t really helping anyone, I do think there’s a difference between “acceptable” and “pretty good”. It’s one thing to waste lots of time on things that really don’t matter and won’t be noticed. But it’s quite another thing to give an 80% effort, especially when you know you’re not giving 100%.
I heard an excerpt from the Steve Jobs book regarding an experience when Steve was a kid and helping his dad build a fence. His dad said to make the back look as good as the front, even though no one would see it. The lesson to Steve was that he would know if he had done shoddy work, even if no one else did.
I feel the same way about my web design and coding work. My clients deserve the best of my ability, even if they’re getting something they didn’t ask for and won’t notice.