Each designer will have their own unique working strategies. After becoming a designer, I’ve also created my own path. Below are some of the best practices I wanted to share with you all.
The deadline helps you to keep yourself disciplined. This is especially true if you’re a natural procrastinator. The logic is that by setting a deadline, you have to force yourself to get out of your head and push yourself to finish your designs. However, be realistic with your schedule. You should avoid creating deadlines that you can’t stick with, and demotivating yourself. Also, try not to be overly optimistic about your capabilities. Keep in mind, unlike coding, design takes a longer time than most people anticipate because of the details and iteration process.
Identify your target
User personas help identify your target audiences. If you’re in a situation where your research is limited, try your best to ask the most crucial questions and at least come up with provisional personas. Personas are important because they show you the core structure of the content, so please take your time and always go back to your research when creating personas.
Develop the content first
Remember, form follows the function. If you’re a UI designer, don’t just rely on your UX buddies to save you when it comes to developing the content. It means that you must still think intelligently about the structure and content of your designs. Take time to think about what’s important to include even if you will be using placeholder text for your designs.
Collect and organize inspirations from the online or physical resources, use them for your inspiration. Although you spend the majority of your time on websites and mobile, avoid setting your limits to the online world only; the outside world is still beautiful.
Start your design on the paper
A few benefits of starting from sketching on paper are that you will catch your mistakes early, spend less time on iteration, and become more creative along the way. However, your sketch design should revolve around the UI patterns you decided to follow.
Style tiles are helpful when working with stakeholders/clients because it allows you to explore their needs and visual tastes before getting into high-fidelity mock-ups. Explore your options when you’re designing your style tiles, go with different style directions.
Before you start diving deep into your design, do yourself a favor and set up your grids first. The most popular grid for website design is a 12 or 16 column grid. Sketch application allows you to set up a grid easily using their layout feature.
Reflect on your work
Take your time to reflect on your work. Be open and honest with yourself while evaluating your end products. If you have been in art, especially painting classes, you understand the importance of looking at your art with a fresh pair of eyes and from different distances. It’s hard to be objective about one’s work in the moment. Design is the same, take your break and come back again like you’re seeing your design for the first time. You’ll discover a lot of details and opportunities for improvement.
Share your work with your peers
In design, there is no such thing as a perfect design. Creating visual work is a process. Taking constructive feedback from other designers is an important way for designers to improve.