Your ability to advance the design after the first review is key.
If you haven’t already, read the intro & summary which explain why I wrote these thoughts down in the first place.
This rather cryptic set of numbers is in reference to our design presentations both internally and externally. How far you advance the design between the first and the second presentation is more important than what you present in your first presentation. This may seem antithetical, as the mark of a good designer seems to be in the quality of their initial work.
But we designers can be emotionally tied to our output. Especially if we’ve struggled to get it out, as is often the case. When we present to the client, they like some parts, but then the comments begin. This is where the rubber hits the road: are we able to dig down, detach ourselves from the elements that we liked but they didn’t, take their feedback into account, and push through to a much improved second round. This is ultimately harder than coming up with something good in the first round.
Most crucial to a good designer is the ability to take first round feedback and truly deliver something much improved in the second presentation - it takes a different type of strength, and a good bit of humility.