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How to become a great designer

  • # April 4, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I think XHTML and CSS is something we all – at least the most of us – could learn, like mathematics. But when it comes to designing, for me it’s something more abstract. Like drawing or painting etc. My question this time is: how to become great in designing? Do you think you need to be talented or is it something you can learn/develop? And in the last case, what’s the best way to become a great designer?

    # April 4, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Designing is very frustrating for me. I scrap every website I do at least 2 times before I end up with one I like. It’s much easier for me to take something that someone has already thought up in their head and put it down rather than try to come up with the design myself.
    The code for me is the easy (and fun) part. I’m never really satisfied with any of my own designs. Personally I think that it takes an artist to be a good designer and artists either have it or they don’t. I don’t think you can learn good design but someone may learn one good design style and keep making modifications to it.

    # April 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    You can absolutely develop your skill as a designer. If you can look at a site and say to yourself "Now that’s a great design", and then look at something you’ve designed and say "This isn’t nearly as good", then you have what it takes to improve. It’s true that CSS/HTML coding is more of a "left-brained" bookwork type skill and design is more of a "right-brained" artistic skill, but both can be trained and developed with practice.

    Just designing, designing, and more designing is the key. If you design 10 websites in 3 months, the 10th design is going to be much stronger than your 1st. In fact, you’ll probably be disgusted by your 1st design :oops: You can also go to school for design. I’m sure people’s opinion on this greatly varies, but I feel I learned quite a bit from my random-state-school art education. After all, going to design school is basically an exercise in repetition. Guess what you do in drawing class? Draw and draw and draw and draw and eventually you get better at it. In-born talent certainly doesn’t hurt, but anybody can become a good designer.

    # April 7, 2008 at 12:04 am

    I couldn’t agree more!

    My first designs were a great example of "what not to do as a designer."
    Now, my designs are much better. I’m not the world’s greatest web
    designer, but I have improved since my early days.

    The key really is to keep at it. Study other people’s designs and look
    for what makes them appealing. Grab some design and layout books
    and look for the techniques taught in the designs of others.

    Build a collection of other websites that you like and study them.

    As your eye gets more and more trained you’ll begin to build
    better and better sites. Like anything worthwhile, it just takes
    time, effort, and a passion for what you do.

    David

    # April 7, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Thank you for the tips, really motivating! :)

    # April 12, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I agree with Chris, it seems that each time I design a mockup of a site, I like it better than one of my previous designs. It just takes practice, more exposure to great design, and more practice, etc.

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