Staying on Top of Trends and Techniques:

cyclerThe Best Design Resources for Help & Inspiration.
Are your methods up to date?Of course we all have our ways of doing things, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and just continue to go with what you know.
With new media trends, software developments, and technologies emerging every day, how do you know that you’re not wasting time doing things ‘the old fashioned way’?

No Man is an Island

blog2comicYou’re not the only one doing what you do and no matter how good you may be, the fact is there is probably someone doing it better – definitely someone doing it different.
The best way to stay on top of current design trends and not get left behind is just to look at what other people are up to. Remember that two heads are better than one and that the internet has an awful lot of heads.

Since every great project needs a spark to get started and every great project inevitably gets held up along the way by an obstacle or two, it’s important to know where to go for help and inspiration.

Inspiration Please!

There are dozens of social media platforms specifically for designers where people upload their work every day for others to see. Sites like Behance and Dribbble are excellent places to view the work of others and for other people to view your work and offer helpful critique.

Part of the design process is becoming inspired– there is no such thing as too many ideas or too much inspiration.

Part of the design process is progressive iteration– when you show off your work and get some (hopefully) constructive criticism, take those new ideas back to the drawing board and make that design even better. Repeat!

Skipping these steps is down-right selling yourself short and could be holding back your designs.

 

Help Me Do What You Just Did!

magic Inspiration always starts with a ‘WOW!’ –it should end with you scratching your head wondering just how on Earth someone did what they did.
Luckily most designers and developers do not live by the magician’s credo and are more than willing to share the secrets behind their tricks.
In fact, there are online communities that are devoted to helping people with almost every problem you could come across in the field. Would you believe me if I told you that people are literally waiting for you right now at stackoverflow.com to try to stump them with a coding problem?
Need to look up the syntax for a Javascript “If/Else” statement? Need a reminder on CSS Pseudo Elements? W3schools serves as a giant library full of information for web developers and offers tons of comprehensive examples and tutorials.

Struggling with your blend modes in Photoshop? Need help with the gradient mesh tool to get your faces more realistic in Illustrator? Of course Adobe offers tutorials at their website, but Lynda.com, and YouTube are also great resources for videos to learn techniques as well.

Challenge Yourself

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to go out there and get yourself inspired. Incorporating new ideas into your design process and making sure you are constantly challenging yourself can ensure that you’re keeping yourself current and valuable in your field.

There is an old saying in skateboarding that claims “If you’re not getting hurt, you’re not trying hard enough”. The same applies for designers and developers practicing their craft – if there isn’t some point during your project where you’re not banging your head against the wall then chances are you’re not trying anything new. If you’re not trying anything new, then everything your doing is old and you may soon realize the whole industry has changed!

So stay on top of the best design resources and…

Keep up!