good fast cheap designers triangle

Good, fast or cheap, choose two – the designers triangle

Good and cheap – it won’t be fast

Fast and good – it won’t be cheap

Cheap and fast – it won’t be good!

good, fast or cheap - choose two, designers triangle

In design, there is a common designers triangle to help you decide what your priorities are for your project. You can choose two of the three options (good, fast or cheap) at the expense of the third variable.

Fast delivery, high quality

If you want your project delivered in a short time, and want it to be of high quality, then your designer will have to either allocate more resources to your project, such as staff or concentrate on it exclusively, to get it done fast at an exceptional quality.

These extra resources come at a cost, and your project will not be cheap.

High quality design and cheap cost

If you want a high quality design at a lower than average cost, your designer will have to schedule working on your project around other projects that are paying their bills. So you can expect a longer time needed for development and delivery.

Fast delivery and cheap cost

If you want your project to be finished quickly and you don’t want to pay for it, you can expect that the quality of the design will not be of very high quality. Designers usually do not favour this option, because they do not want to produce designs that are of low quality.

Usually it is better to choose either to pay more, or to compromise on the time taken for the design. So that you get a high quality design.

Best use of the designers triangle – good, fast or cheap

In my practice, I generally favour the good and cheap side of the designers triangle. No doubt as I become more experienced, I will tend to favour the good and fast side of the triangle. And charge more for my services.

At the moment, I juggle a lot of projects and dedicate some time each day to each project. This means that I can charge lower prices than my competitors.

If you want your design to be of high quality and to be finished in less than four weeks, then it will be more expensive. As additional resources will be required to focus on your project exclusively.


Image credit: “white triangle” by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

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