Designing isn't just about visual aspects and is rather a broad field comprising of many different branches like the web, graphic, product, etc. Besides, with the ever-increasing competition in today's era, you need to cope up with the latest design trends to truly stand out from the competition.
Luckily, you can find hundreds of thousands of tutorials, sites and several other resources that can guide you to learn the skills required for becoming a proficient designer.
However, through this post, I would like to discuss about a few simple yet important tips that will help in maximizing your design learning.
#Tip 1 - Design Something Daily.
You must have heard of the famous proverb "Practice Makes Perfect". While that statement might not be true completely, but you can't deny the fact that the more you practice something, the better you become at it. Put it simply, practice does somewhat help in becoming perfect. So, why not implement the same rule in designing something?
Almost every person belonging to a particular field keeps on practicing to become eventually perfect in accomplishing their tasks. For instance, musicians continuously practice singing their songs until they get each and every note right. Likewise, as designers you should design something every day at least once a year, so as to practice your designing skills. This will help you come up with ideas as to how you can design something in many different ways. Also, it will help you become better at creating a specific design daily.
Develop a consistent design learning routine that requires you to design something daily. But, avoid pushing it too much, as your brain needs rest to accumulate all the information concerning crafting a design.
The 365 Project created by Marta Ryczko is a good example of designing every day. Marta is a web designer who works on every new design project daily for 1000 days.
#Tip 2 - Add Perfection To Your Design by Applying the 80/20 Rule.
Remember, nobody is perfect. You'll most likely find some holes even in some of the best designs. Thus, to become a smart designer, you don't necessarily have to learn everything. Instead, focus on designing something that works well and help in producing smart (and expected) results.
Consider using the Pareto principle (popularly known to many as the 80-20 rule) to learn how to make your design perfect. According to the 80/20 rule from Wikipedia:
"for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes."
In simple words, the 80/20 rule means that 80 percent of your outputs are a result of 20 percent of your inputs. To be more specific, you can maximize your design learning simply by paying attention to 20% of the processes that helps in generating 80% result - that you might be expecting from your design.
Of course, you have to let your guards down to achieving 100% perfect design solution. Or else, a significant amount of your time and efforts will be wasted in creating a design close to perfectionism. But aiming to achieve minimum 80% results is comparatively easier.
It's a well-understood fact that designers can deliver better results when they don't have to worry about being perfect.
Besides, reducing your feature set to 20% will prove rewarding, as it will help you in producing 80% of desired actions. Basically, when using the 80/20 rule, you just need to focus on little things that can benefit you, and will help in creating many designs than a fewer ones created by designers' striving to achieve 100% outcome.
For example, the Fenn Wright Manson website's checkout page follows the 80/20 rule, as it break the convention of listing countries in alphabetical order, and instead displays the most likely selected countries at the top of the checkout page:
#Tip 3 - Be a Part Of the Challenge
When browsing the Internet, you'll possibly stumble upon designing challenges, ranging from simple "30 Day Drawing Challenge" to an overly complex "Digital Sketching Challenge". Take up any challenge and make sure to show up every day. Being a part of a challenge will push you to develop an innovator's mindset, helping you create better design solutions in a fun and effective manner. This will eventually boost your confidence level, and most importantly, will help improve your designing abilities.
Moreover, being a part of the challenge will encourage you to push your creative boundaries, helping you to come up with fresh design ideas.
For example, Matt Lyon (a UK-based graphic artist) recommends everyone having an interest in image-making to be a part of a challenge that requires them to create things every day.
A Few Other Considerations
Apart from the above discussed three crucial tips on maximizing your design learning, below are a few other considerations that will help you learn about designing in an efficient manner:
- Teach others about designing. Teaching what you know about design to someone else will help you better understand about the designing process. Of course, you might hesitate to do so in the beginning, wondering you don't know a thing. But attempting to teach others will force you to think about methods that can be used to improve design theories and so on.
- Learn the design essentials. Before jumping on the designing bandwagon, make sure to learn about the design essentials first. Understand your design requirements, make a list of all those requirements, and think of ways to build it. You can even consider using image editing software such as Photoshop or others for crafting your design. In addition, try joining a design community and listen to their viewpoints concerning the "what, when and how of design".
Do you want to become familiar with techniques to create effective design solutions? Or would like to know how you can improve your design learning? Well, then I hope that reading the key points covered in this post will help you in doing the needful.