As a web designer, there are many skills you must develop. Many of them are polished on the fly while completing a variety of projects for customers. One of the main characteristics of every designer is to be in a constant search for knowledge. It is a constant learning process and, although it is true that every experience gained based on a commissioned project is important, there are other activities you can do to be in the constant learning process as a designer. In this article, we mention some of the ones we consider as the most important:
Critically analyze your recent projects
One way to detect certain areas in which you can improve is to review past projects. Of course, you should not look for projects that are many years old, but jobs that have been completed in previous months. If you start to review very old works it will not help you because it is obvious that there will be a big difference between your abilities at the time and those you have now. It is more effective to choose more recent completed projects.
Not only is it enough to select the projects and review them again, but to critically observe the final results of the project. After a few months, you may have a different perspective and may have a more objective opinion about the results of the project. If you recognize that some points could have been better, then you are already in the process of learning.
Actively seek comments and constructive criticism about your projects
While it is positive to look critically at your projects, you can also learn a lot by opening yourself to the comments and constructive criticisms of other people. These people may well be designers or simply give their point of view as users. Although a designer has more theoretical knowledge and can offer you precise suggestions, it is also important to listen to another type of audience because it can give another point of view that perhaps, as a designer, you had not considered.
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Although it is not easy to accept criticism about your work, it is a necessary part of the design process that will allow you to find faults and solve them. In a broader sense, these criticisms will allow you to grow as a designer.
You can hang your projects on social networks or specialized communities such as Dribbble and Behance. Obviously, in these types of communities, you will receive criticism from other designers, while in social networks you have access to a wider audience.
Analyze the work of other experienced designers
Another way to learn is to analyze the work of other designers. Not only is it enough to see the final results, but carefully observe all the details and elements that are part of the design and analyze why certain decisions have been made in that specific design. You can also find information on the internet about the design process of a certain famous project. These articles are usually popular in particular when it comes to logo design and corporate identity, but surely, you can also find information about web design or any other type of design in which you are interested. You can also check pages of popular agencies and review the projects they have done. They are likely to present additional information about the project and even case studies.
Learn new things in tutorials or online courses
Nowadays, thanks to the internet you can find a lot of online courses and video tutorials. If you have free time, invest it in studying other related topics. It may well be an online course that lasts a few weeks or months. With online courses, you can control the time you spend each day studying, unlike taking face-to-face courses. However, we recommend having a stable schedule. Studying online has great advantages, but you must be consistent and have certain established habits and schedules in which you only dedicate yourself to study.
If you don’t have much time, you can learn specific “tricks” in short tutorials. It is unlikely that you will have to spend more than 1 hour developing the tasks of the tutorial. And although perhaps at that point, you cannot take a long course, completing a tutorial a week can also be considered as progress.
Finish a personal project
A personal project is a great opportunity to experiment without any limit. In the orders for customers, there are always certain limitations of budget, time, among others. And all decisions must be consulted with your client. But in a personal project, you make all the decisions. In this way, the final result of any personal project depends on the direction you decide to take in the course of developing it.
Although commissioning projects have great advantages, a personal project also has benefits. Mainly because it can be a relaxing activity that at the same time helps you improve certain skills as a designer.
You don’t need to start from scratch creating a new online store, a blog, a form, etc. But you can also use an existing web page as a base and redesign it. Many web designers from top web development companies take popular platforms such as Twitter or Facebook and propose their redesign concepts. This is an activity that can also be considered as a personal project.
In a way, being a designer or developer means being in a constant learning process. Although certain theoretical concepts remain immovable no matter how many years go by, others are constantly evolving and changing because of the same technology that advances. Likewise, new trends emerge every year and many of them also evolve little by little. Being a good designer means understanding these trends and being aware of technological changes.
Although being informed about the latest trends is necessary, it is also important to recognize what your shortcomings are and the skills you should polish as a designer. For this reason, you must have a critical eye and go in search of knowledge, as well as improve with the activities that we have mentioned.