I have been designing for a living since 2009 and, in the past three years, I have been focusing my skills on both web and mobile user interface design. During this time I’ve experienced the good and bad of the industry. Good clients, bad clients. Good ideas, bad ideas. Good developers, bad developers. There have been app approvals and app rejections.
Sometimes it can be frustrating, and although these so-called “bad experiences” can suck, they’ve taught me some important lessons. These lessons not only speed up my day-to-day workflow but also help me design a better user experience for the target audience.
Have you noticed when you ask someone three questions in a row, their eyes glaze over and they stop paying attention? It’s a psychological defense mechanism to keep our privacy to ourselves. It’s one reason so many people choke up when taking a test.
The human, by nature, is a questioning animal. We question our existence and future but when it comes to giving answers, that’s just not in our biological nature. This is one of the problems with planning a design project. Questions have to be asked – numerous questions. There is, however, a way to ask questions and get all the answers you need…
Interaction Design has been practised long before the digital revolution, but under different guises and representing many other facets of today’s design language. Once you understand the underlying principles, you will probably realise that everything that has ever been designed effectively, has had some interaction design techniques applied.
Today, we’re going to be delving into this concept a little further, considering how we can use the basics of interaction design to ensure that we’re creating designs that work for people — not just interfaces.
I recently returned from the New Adventures in Web Design conference in Nottingham, and it’s left me taking stock of just what I’ve gained from going to a design conference. Having attended this conference for the previous two years I can honestly say I’ve gained more from the conference experience than simply “a day or two out of the office”.
I’ve seen world class speakers, new speakers just starting out & met and spoken to a lot of really good people. There are hundreds of design and development conferences all over the world, ranging from single track design or development only to multi-track 2-3 day events covering a multitude of specialisms concurrently. Whether you choose to take a day out or go for the full experience, there’ll be a conference to suit every interest and wallet. Sadly 2013 was the last year that New Adventures will be run, with organisers, Simon Collison and Greg Wood taking a well deserved break to concentrate on their own projects. The New Adventures experience has really whet my appetite for conferences and, while I’m not a serial conference-goer, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for a replacement for that experience. But what can you get out of a design conference?
Since the beginning of time, the design process has remained mostly the same. Design comes before development. Talented designers pour over examples, studies and hypothesis to produce something deemed worthy of releasing. However, since the old days, a lot has changed in the way we build things, especially in software development.
With the lean revolution upon us, people have traded isolation rooms and waterfall planning charts, for open spaces and continuous delivery. As tough as the transition has been on developers to find new methods and change mindsets, people often overlook the fact that the process has fundamentally changed for most designers. But in a world where test and learn is the law, we’ve created a battle between quality and deadlines. That’s why I urge every designer I meet: treat every release as if it were your last.
I admit I loved being asked to speak at art schools throughout my career. It said that I was a professional with something worth saying. My comedic, entertaining style of speaking about the industry and how to prepare to enter the business put me in great demand and as many of my peers taught at area schools, I found myself speaking at every NYC area school each spring semester to graduating seniors.
Sometimes I would show samples of my work and speak about the battle to get them through committees or why they were turned down. I discussed interviewing, portfolios, finding work, contracts, selling and other professional practices students would need to survive and thrive in the creative industry. For my trouble, I usually was treated to lunch by my friends and stories of their students who had no chance to make it in the field.
As a designer or developer, paperwork is probably a necessary evil, not something that you particularly enjoy. Tasks like creating and managing client quotes and sending invoices can be annoying or even intimidating.
Fortunately, QuoteRobot is here to streamline the process for you. We took a look at this great app when it first launched, but now it’s been completely overhauled for version two, so it’s high time we had another peek!
It’s there, lost in your “someday” todo list, right under “spit off the Eiffel Tower.” One of these days, you’re going to start your own design or development blog. Is it really worth the effort though? Realistically, what can you expect to get out of such a venture?
As a full-time editor of multiple popular publications, I’ll share with you my top five reasons that you should start your own blog today. All five come from personal experience and I’m convinced that they’ll all be right in line with your personal goals.
Getting work is about more than your portfolio. Designers must also know a bit about marketing. This is especially true for freelancers. Your marketable self can, and will, help you land (or lose) work before it even hits your radar.
It is important to create a consistent brand for yourself today. Look at the channels you are using and how you are identified online, decide how you want to be identified and what your name and image should be, and then go out and make it happen. Here are a few tips to get you started.
The folks that brought you COLOURlovers have cooked up something new and exciting: Creative Market, a beautiful and simple way to buy and sell digital creative goods online.
Join us as we jump in to see what Creative Market is all about and how they’re uniquely positioning themselves in this market.
I was recently put in an interesting position where I had to choose between my professional principles and a paycheck. As a designer, you’re probably no stranger to this situation.
What’s the right course of action? When is compromise a laudable action and when is standing firm and refusing a request the better way to go? I’ll share my thoughts through a real and personal story.
Freelancing for a living is flat out nuts. Some days you’ll be so buried in work that you never think you’ll see the sun again. Other days will make you wonder how in the world you’re going to make rent this month.
This article will focus on the latter situation. You’ve reached the end, you’re finished. There’s no more work, the economy sucks, no one’s calling, now what?