Expert Advice — Designing for Beginners

Expert Advice — Designing for Beginners

After moulding my mind in a way that it perceives Designing as imperative in any digital reality; after slogging, day in and day out, just to get that tiny imperfection out of my Design and after spending a decade in an industry that is so challenging and gruelling, I have decided to jot down few of my experiences that will help the next generation of budding Designers.

I sympathise, empathise and understand the position that you are in now, I too encountered numerous issues. It used to be impossible for me to comprehend business models, business goals, placements of icons, text, content and other elements that are paramount to sustain in this industry. But, after due experience and toil I began to grasp the basic notions, like User experience design and User Interface design is not ‘fine art’ rather, it’s a way of making your businesses’ and user’s experience right. And by ‘right’, I mean delivering at par with the expectations of your users.

So, put your thinking cap on and slip into the user’s mind frame, visualise the way they will use your designs and the way they will react. During my long, demanding career as a Designer I have faced umpteen of situations which have not only helped me to grow but also, helped me to design better in diverse projects or situations. So today, I have listed out a few:

No Change? Ow Bugger!

This is a battle that has been raging since the days we go to the market to buy our sweets till now, when we bicker for change with our cab driver. So I suggest, whenever you come across any perplexing situation or even when you have your eureka moment, take out a notepad and write down the point that made you come out of that situation. By documenting your thoughts, you’ll not only remember those point for your life but also, you’ll create a repository of thoughts that may/will help you in the future. And guess what, I recently got a chance to do this and as you might have guessed it, I aced it.

While designing a grocery mobile app for my friend, I tried to incorporate a feature in which users proceed for Cash on Delivery (COD), below is the image for reference. Now, you can see this feature in numerous other sites and apps too, while I designed it a couple of years back.

Why So Damn Expensive?

This is a phrase we use every week we step out to buy any gadget. But you know what, it’s all worth every penny spent. There is a reason why I own Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MacBook, Moto 360, Chromecast, Apple TV and Nexus 5X (all updated devices) and the reason is that I have to remain up to date with every new trend, interaction, metaphor and everything that constitutes in the designing world. This is a ever changing sector and if you don’t grow and learn, you’ll be soon obsolete.

Few years back when I was working with 2ergo, we received a project from a reputed client who specifically wanted the app to be developed for iPad and at that time, iPad had just launched in India with a price range that boggled everyone’s mind. So, I approached the Business Development executive and assured him that the project is in the bag by showing some brilliant iPad design samples. This happened because I shelled out a few bucks and purchased a iPad!

Only Accept if You Are Willing To Try

To take on projects that you aren’t dead set on fulfilling is a big blunder, you not only waste your time but also lose a future client who might have offered you a project of your liking in the future. I recently had a harsh incident wherein I accepted a project that didn’t appeal to my creative side. I accepted the project because, well, who can refuse the money? But working on the project seemed excruciatingly painful because every second was ticking like an hour and I was completely drained out of ideas. I failed, I repented taking on the project and I vowed never to take up projects that don’t interest me and so should you.

Curate and Exterminate Challenges

Refer to my first point here, jot down challenges and problems. But find time to work on your skills, to hone your designing patterns and exert yourself to do better than you can possibly imagine. Sometimes you might not succeed but there would be times where you not only surprise yourself but also, design something so wildly creative that no one could have imagined. Might as well do it for building your portfolio!

I have designed a smart navigation system using my imagination and created few wireframes which were shared with few closed friends only. As days passed I got a LinkedIn invite from a CEO who gave me a job without even interviewing me. Show your passion and growth will come your way.

Few Takeaways:

1. Invest in you (for me, it’s devices)
2. Observe and Serve
3. Problem Solving Attitude
4. Work for Passion

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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