Having a Big Goal Could be Too Big

3 months ago I initiated a project for defining Viki‘s Design Language. Ideally it should be something like the Google’s Material Design. A lot of stuffs in Google’s, so we aimed for smaller parts as a start: colors, typography, buttons and links. Simple, right? Surprisingly, after 3 months, we still haven’t got it done. A lot of back and forth, emails, discussion, chat. The goal seemed small, but actually it’s not. For colors, we need to define primary color, accent color, tint/shade. Buttons, there are flat button, raised button (button with a container), different states and so on. Similar for typography and links. It’s a lot! Doing one thing right is not easy, and we’re trying to do 10 or more things.

So today I decided to break the goal into smaller goals, then I kept breaking the goals until I found the smallest goal that can’t be broken anymore. I chose color. Color can still be broken. I chose primary color. Primary color is the smallest one, can’t be broken anymore. So this is my goal: defining primary color, just primary color. Aiming the smallest goal helped us to focus and decide quickly. We managed to narrow down the choices to just 2 colors in 3 hours, and by Monday we should be able to nail down the primary color.

Having a big goal could be too big. You need a big vision, not a big goal. Break the goal into smaller goals, break them again until you end up with the smallest goal, and work from there. Achieving small goal gives you confidence, and it boosts your morale to achieve more.

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