Have you ever been shopping for just the right piece of clothing, electronic, house, apartment (anything, really) and had that feeling of, “YES! This is exactly what I want. Perfect. Completely perfect,” without a shadow of a doubt? This is the same feeling you want as you are designing- a gut-wrenching , “YES! Feels perfect.”
If you are pushing around design elements like unwanted food on a plate, you’ve got to immediately abandon those design elements and work to find that immediate “YES” feeling.
The Rule of Abandonment. I coined this terminology years ago and truly live by it as a design principle. The longer you prolong the removal of bad design pieces, the more lost you may become in finding the right design solution.
When you force design elements that don’t mesh, refusing to let go, the final outcome will feel just that way- forced and incohesive.
Will this rule work for just about anyone? Probably not. You must be creatively inclined to have innate feelings on color, balance, and style, but how will you know unless you give it a try?