As designers, it’s important to continuously develop your craft by staying up to date with the latest trends and applying new knowledge to your work as often as possible. By applying some focus and determination, it’s possible to get a little better every day with these five daily habits to strengthen your design skills.
1. 100 Days of UI
Have you ever endlessly scrolled through Dribbble for inspiration and wanted to contribute but felt hesitant to do so? Don’t be afraid to take the first step and challenge yourself to complete the Daily UI Challenge aka 100 Days of UI! To begin, you can either create a Dribble or Behance account if you do not have one already. Next, check out DailyUI and sign up to receive your daily challenges for the next 100 days. You can create your daily challenge through Sketch, Figma or any other program of your choice then export and upload your creations onto Dribble. What I enjoy the most about the Daily UI challenge is that you are given tasks that you would not normally design for which allow you to strengthen and develop new skills as you go. I recommend monitoring your progression from Day 1 and I’m sure you will notice how much of a better designer you have become by day 100.
2. Read About Product Design
Another great way to strengthen your design skills is to read (or listen if you prefer audiobooks) about product design. A few of my favorite books that I enjoyed reading and have helped me throughout my career as a product designer have been The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, Sprint by Jake Knapp, and Solving Product Design Exercises by Artiom Dashinsky. Whether you are just starting off a junior UX/UI designer or if you have years of experience under your belt, these books will definitely help you elevate your design skills and deepen your design thinking process.
3. Keep up with UX Collective on Medium
With all the latest programs and features for product designers, it is hard to stay up to date. A great way to learn about the latest tools out there in detail from a product designer’s perspective is to check out UX Collective on Medium. UX Collective is a community of product designers of all levels who write articles that detail their personal experiences and design thinking processes. Understanding that many designers face similar challenges is comforting and a good way to gain new perspectives on an issue you may be stuck on. Also, feel free to reach out if you find someone who really stands out to you! You never know who could be willing to lend a helping hand.
4. Learn from Other Designers
There is always a new trend every year and sometimes these trends even repeat themselves. A great way to stay up to date on what’s hot and what’s not while strengthening your design skills is to check out Dribble & Behance. Follow trending designers, read through blog posts that provide a review of the latest fads and try to integrate anything that inspires you into your own design practice. While trends may come and go, the experience of trying something new is always helpful and you may even end up stumbling upon your next go-to style!
5. Attend Events in Your City
Lastly, attending UX events in your city is a great way to open up your network and meet the fellow designers face to face. Whether it’s bonding via your favorite design program plug-ins, or getting into lively debates about whether neumorphism is still ‘hot’, going out and becoming a part of the UX community in your area is a great way to get more out of your passion for design together with friendly faces. Below are a few resources to start getting out there and attending these meet ups.
Hopefully these five habits can help you along your way to becoming a better and more well-rounded designer. The best way to see ongoing improvement in your design practice is through consistent work so get started today and remember to stick to it!
– Jackie Chan is a UX/UI Designer at Perpetual