7 ways to be more effective as a designer
Sometimes I wander the most popular Dribble projects trying to find the magic equation behind this excellent interface. It’s hard for me to figure out how to get to the top over and over again, but as I move from one great designer profile to another, I suddenly become aware.
His work was not always perfect, but every time he got better. And if he can, then so can I.
I just need to clear my eyes, work hard, stay focused, enjoy the process.
Here are some tips that have helped me improve my performance:
1. Choose your niche
Your nature tells you to create different projects, because you are so talented and know how to do everything, because people expect this from you. But the harsh truth is that your story doesn’t become clear and understandable.
Identify yourself in a specific area. Move in one direction.
Good in everything – not perfect in anything.
Check out what your audience values the most, give them more of this awesome work that brings you the most joy, and they’ll come back for more.
People will put you in the box themselves. You only need to identify this box – Shawn Wes
If you create great logos, then keep doing it. People will recognize you and think, “Hey, I know a guy from Dribble who makes great logos.” But if you do other projects, it will be more difficult for people to perceive you as an expert.
2. Build trust
Sharing ideas on Dribble is nice, but not enough. You decide to create your own business, drive traffic and sales, but if you don’t have an audience, your sales will crash at some point.
It is not the strongest individual that survives, not the smartest, but the one that is able to adapt to changes best of all.
If you have experience and knowledge, I invite you to study and teach others everything that you know. Create your blog. Deliver valuable content that resonates with people around the world. Talk to other designers. Help them become the best version of themselves.
Stop feeding your ego and take advice from people outside of your field. You’d be surprised how you can learn anything of value from the casual guy who is serious about his business.
Commit yourself to writing every day, making it all a habit. Be consistent and let people know what to expect from you.
3. Fight criticism with confidence
After all, we work for people, and if you want to maintain a balance in this area, you need to know how to resist criticism. Nowadays, if you work for a large agency, you constantly encounter designers – everyone around you is designers, if you know what I mean 🙂
Let’s say you’ve created an awesome interface – on time, well before the deadline, and everyone loves it. Well, except for a few people. Take a look at a couple of tips:
- Prepare for your presentation and choose the best arguments for your favor. Speak confidently. Make it clear that you are confident in the quality of your product;
- Listen to their feedback and respond with cordiality. Take a deep breath and calm down, even if it’s difficult. Recognize if the ideas and suggestions are really worthwhile. Be flexible;
- There will definitely be a few people who will come just to insult you. But if you get angry, it will be difficult to deal with the whole situation. Don’t react and smile.
Corrie Miller has a super-awesome podcast on how to deal with criticism. Pay attention to him too.
4. Stay away from distractions
Increase productivity by dividing your day. A to-do list will allow you to track your progress and be happy when you cross off the next task from the list. When you’re in the middle of the creation process, eliminate any interruptions: close the Facebook page, focus, and work carefully.
Write down these distractions and you will enjoy wonderful peace of mind next time. Try to repeat this process and eventually it will become a habit with productive results.
Don’t forget to reward yourself 🙂
5. Improve your portfolio
Building a strong portfolio takes time, dedication and hard work, but in the end it is worth the effort. Its goal is to attract future clients with cool side projects.
If you still have to face the challenges of your day-to-day work, building a cool portfolio can be overwhelming.
Do your best and create outstanding designs, share them with the community, ask for feedback, take the time to create awesome animations, and the victory will be spectacular.
I advise you to check out Anthony Moore’s article – it condenses four basic strategies for creating deep work depending on your lifestyle.
6. Work hard and enjoy the process
Even if you have multiple projects with burning deadlines and you feel overwhelmed, just take a step back and relax.
Projects come and go, some you will fill up, you will gain even more. The most valuable thing is understanding how to properly rest and how much. Constantly screwing yourself up with setbacks will hurt your productivity in the long run. And here’s what will definitely help you relax while working:
- Drink delicious coffee;
- Jot down ideas and concepts on paper, sketch and play with ideas;
- Do not push yourself too hard, because it will be noticeable in your work;
- Listen to your favorite music;
- Take breaks – you will need them. A distraction for a few minutes can be very helpful;
- Work in teams
7. Learn and exercise
The most important thing in the life of a designer is constant and continuous learning. “Good job” is not enough. Be curious and challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone to become a better designer.
Work is a never-ending process, so no matter how busy I am, I always love reading helpful articles about design principles, the creative process, typography, popular Dribble footage, and a host of other great things happening in this community.
Do not stop and you.