A mediocre to prefect scale: for websites and life

Here is a scale I created to visualise the continuum from mediocre (not fit for purpose) to perfect. I found this useful when I was working on rebuilding my website from scratch.

The percentages refer to how much of the requirements have been met. With any software project, we can divide requirements into must-haves and nice-to-haves. And these are evaluated in context of available time and resources. If we are pressed for time and resources, we focus on meeting the must-haves. If we have more time, we can take on some of the nice-to-haves. There is, of course, no end to the nice-to-haves. We can polish a piece of software forever.

Using this scale gave me clarity on when I could realistically release the first iteration of my updated website. Waiting for perfect, or anything above 90%, would have taken me a few more months. Like tending to a garden, nothing can be 100%; we can only get close to it.

I decided anything less than 50% to be an unacceptable outcome. The layout will be too basic, many of the links (inside thousands of blog posts) will be broken, and pages will be missing images. I settled on working towards Good Enough, about 50-60%. This is when all the basics will be covered. The site works, all the content is accessible, and there are no obvious errors. Setting the acceptance range this way enabled me to focus on doing what is needed, without straying into perfectionism, or forgetting what is truly needed.

At the end of the day, I bumped the release acceptance to about 75%; More Than Good Enough. The site went up a week later than I had intended. It had SEO basics like meta descriptions, a sitemap.xml file, search functionality, and enhancements to the backend (offline) content management database.

We can apply this scale to work with other things in life; to keep ourselves focused on actions that maximises desired and practical outcomes with just enough effort. Good enough is going for a long walk two to three times a week. More than good enough is actively working out at the gym three to four times a week.