Website designers have to possess solid Photoshop skills, be masters of jQuery and have to have a superb grip on design. Are these tangible skills the right and only equipment required on your way to success? What is even more important while you’re building your professional reputation?
The status of a good web designer is debated throughout the professional communities. Is it someone who is able to provide an eye-catching web design involving everyday activity and an ability to process a huge amount of information? Indeed. But in fact, the job of a web designer does not end at building websites that look good. It comes with way more.
CREATIVITY is the key word which leads to success. But how do you become a truly creative web designer? Here are some tips you cannot afford to overlook.
1. Update yourself with new trends. Daily.
Like the fashion industry, the world of computer technology changes every day. You need to be technologically in tune or, what would be even more desirable, one step ahead of the market. The best way to keep pace and develop your creativity on the right track is to allocate a segment of your workday and devote it completely to learning. Find out what is new and, just as important, what is falling by the wayside. Keep yourself on the right path and stay fresh. I suggest that you research, learn, investigate topics and take notice of events related to what’s trending.
For example: check out this popular & regularly updated collection of creative website themes, to get the right inspiration for your next project!
2. Gain experience while studying. Or vice versa?
Experience, experience, experience. Even though you are studying, everybody wants to know of what you are capable. Very simply – experience counts. Your potential client is almost certainly interested in knowing how many prior references you have.
To capitalize on this, turn the story around and present yourself as a designer who educates himself continuously. It does not matter if it is a university education or if it is self-education from various sources – everything counts. Moreover, education will keep your eyes open, your creativity will flourish, and you’ll surely be way ahead of the pack.
3. Make space for creative ideas to land.
It is common knowledge that creative people are often the messy ones. In the case of web designing, your work can become really chaotic at times, and there will not be a single blank space available for new ideas. Your workspace is what is affecting your mood; it is what confronts you most of the day. Make it look uncluttered and your mind will feel uncluttered, too. Add a bit of organization to your PC, and, above all the desktop. Then dive into classifying texts, pictures, videos and maintain a to-do list. Congratulations! You have just created a new runway on which your creative ideas can land.
4. Keep an updated Portfolio
I would say that this is a way too old story about maintaining an updated portfolio presented in a premium design and advanced technical base. But as I found after searching for potential colleagues among designers I can tell you it is still happening.
Maintaining and keeping an updated vibrant portfolio is crucial to any designer’s success. And by current I mean as up-to-date as possible. It is the best medium to showcase your abilities and aesthetics allowing potential clients to have on hand,a comprehensive picture of your work. There is no better justification for charging more money than the average designer!
5. Buy books, read books
Books are like our older and more experienced friends. They inspire us; they teach us. Having an inspiring book collection is always an essential part of learning. Additionally, it keeps your vocabulary up-to-date. Try to buy a new book or e-book regularly – ideally every two weeks, ranging from inspirational, educational topics to technical. But be efficient and do not forget to check the book review in advance!
6. Keep yourself in the loop of blogs
Reading other designers blogs is the best way to absorb instant creativity for free. You will soon consider it an inevitable and extremely useful source of information.
7. Join the community of web designers.
If you are a freelancer, and there is nobody, fortunately, to tell you what to do and boss you around, joining an online or offline designers’ community is a must. It does keep you up-to-date with the latest trends, provides you with feedback and critique, if constructive. Good constructive remarks from other professionals test your creativity and push you to make improvements. Somewhat like medicine, if taken in small amounts, it helps. Definitely, check out dribbble.com and behance.net or graphic design events on meetup app!
8. Take lots of photos.
Bring home all the kinds of design you like, buildings, textures or shapes of shadows that inspire you. Just snap a photo and file it away for later use. Anything that arrests your attention for a while is worth saving. You never know when that creative place in your brain turns into a desert.
9. Bye, bye comfort zone.
Another strategy for keeping the work flowing is to say yes to work even if it’s outside your usual projects. Life starts out of the comfort zone – at least, successful people say so. Taking the jobs that challenge you helps propel and expand your skills. But be sure not to spend more than 50 % of your time out of your comfort zone. That means 50 % of the time for everyday projects and up to 50 % for new challenges. The more experienced you are in your field, the closer you can approach that level.
10. Play with projects.
Be sure to have free time. You can use it, for example, to create fake projects or work for experimental projects or third-sector organisations for free. This way you will feed your creativity and can work towards a more successful future. But be sure to barter non-paid time for absolute freedom in your creations.
Check one of our latest articles on this topic: Is The Internet Threatening Your Creativity?
So play hard, but have fun in the process!