Combing through my archive, I came upon this article in the New York Times. Its essential point was that a Brahms score, played by hundred of musicians, contained an error that no one noticed.

A piano teacher heard his student mis-play the piece….when he asked the student to correct the mistake, the student pointed out that he was playing it as written. Most pros sight read – which means they see cues and guess at the rest. That’s why ygu cgn rsad thds semtence.

This is why it’s SO important to have fresh eyes on a project, at key intervals. The eyes of someone who hasn’t been drinking the Koolaid. The eyes of someone with different (or no) assumptions.

On my current project, we had a visual designer on the project from the kickoff, in the sketching sessions, on the client calls. When we (finally) came down to making some mid-fidelity comps, he and I sat at a desk together and made what we thought was best, based on all of our assumptions.

The visual designer was a freelancer…and when the project got extended, we had to let him go on to his next project. One of our internal VxDs came onto the project, and the process of onboading him was so refreshing. Explaining it all, all over again, made me see how silly some of it all was…what was not essential, what could be stripped down. My assumptions, my learning, had backed me into a corner…and a fresh pair of eyes helped pull me back from the trees to see the forest in a new way.