I see designers doing their job; designing UI. A normal process a designer follows is; receive the design specifications, design a UI, get feedback, revisse, get approved; done. Design specifications and client communication are mostly done by the project managers. So a designer’s main goal becomes getting his design approved rather than focusing on creating something from heart.
Here are few things I wish every designer does:
- Client assessment
Analysis of the client’s requirements, his needs, his goals and objectives. This helps to understand the core purpose of the project and focus on a result-oriented design.
- Use pen and paper
Starting with pen and paper is always useful to brainstorm and streamline ideas. Mind-mapping, rough sketches, user flow etc makes the mind focus on strategies, whether always starting with designing softwares like Photoshop makes the mind focus on design elements only.
- Think from client’s point of view
The main goals of design projects are to sell services/products or give information. If designer understands the client’s organization and goals properly, the designs will be more likey to meet their requirements.
- Think from client’s customer’s point of view
This helps the designer creates something that is actually useful to the end-users, rather than just satisfying the project manager or the clients for design approval.
- Surprise the project manager or the client
Try something new. Experiment! Do something that was not included in the specifications, but you think is important. This makes you a thoughtful designer. Be a problem solver, not a photoshop expert.
- Argue & Defend
Don’t blindly accept all the design specifications given by your client. Argue when necessary to for better results. You are the design expert, you are the problem solver, act like one.
- Leave the desk every once a while
Does sitting in front of the computer from 9 to 5 mean 8 hours of actual productivity? Not at all. Can a designer’s creativity flow equally from the morning till the evening? Not at all. That’s why designers should take some breaks and walk around, chat with colleagues, read magazines or just spend some time doing nothing. Sometimes a fresh mind can create designs in minutes that cannot be created in a whole day by a dull and exhausted mind.
- Carry a notebook
A creative designer is always looking for inspiration and can get inspired from many events happening around at any time. Keeping a notebook is a good way to quicky note down any ideas or inspiration before forgetting it.
- Unfollow the trend
Following the trend and doing what others are doing is the safest and non-creative way of being a designer. Good designers know all the rules, understand the trends and attempts to defy them. Trends might not be useful or necessary for every type of design projects, so if a designer understands what the goal of the design is, the trend might not be relevant anymore.
- Learn & Teach
There are so many things to learn in this world. Not only from related fields, but keep learning from every field that is interesting. Creativity and inspiration might come from any unrelated industry. Like science, evolution of earth, world news, history etc. Watch documentaries, read books, blogs any time you can.
A good designer should always care about the community and share the knowledge. Social media profiles, blogs, webinars, workshops, talk events can be used to share and teach what you know.
&, a bonus:
- Ask for a raise 😉