Designers, especially those working in house, have, in the past, had to deal with the more is more (or more for less) business mindset. We’d combat this culture of too much with the battle cry, “It’s quality not quantity” when being told to add more logos, copy, images, messages ad nauseum to a particular design artifact. The quantity adage has also been liberally applied to the argument for an in-house team to turn out more substandard work at the expense of the creation of higher quality design.
Now the quantity variable in this destructive equation has been replaced with convenience. How does this show up? In the consumer space it manifests in MP3 and MP4 technologies where the quality of the song or movie is compromised to allow for them to fit on mobile devices or be streamed over the internet. Fast food is another more vested product delivery model.
For internal creatives, the convenience challenge expresses itself in the corporate adoption of online on demand print delivery and layout solutions with generic templates and limited print production and finishing options. CMS sites that give authors easy access to updating corporate websites offer only limited design options. These tradeoffs favor convenience of use over the quality of the final product.
It wouldn’t be realistic, or best business practice, to have a pat knee-jerk negative response when confronted with placing convenience over quality, but there are plenty of times where it’s your job to take a stand and argue that the benefits of convenience do not outweigh the sacrifice of the quality of a particular design project.