“At each creative decision, ask whether you’re doing it a certain way because that’s the way you’ve seen it done before. If the answer is yes, then figure out if there’s a better way. You’ll stand apart from the rest, and we’ll love you for it.”
From a profile of Adam Lisagor in Fast Company
As a designer or developer, it’s easy to get intimidated by the work of your peers. In this age of dribbble and github, we can see each others works and inspect it in close detail. Sometimes I’ll stumble on someones repo on github and just be blown away by the quality and quantity of their work.
What sets some people’s work above the rest? It’s almost never how difficult the problems they solve are. Most problems are either simple or just haven’t been broken down into small enough pieces. From what I’ve seen it’s more likely their attention to detail and their taste.
Differences in taste are easy to see among designers but I think it applies just as much to developers. We just call it elegance.
When you have high standards and either the talent or persistence to meet those standards, you can make something great.