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keeping up with trends

Keeping up with the latest design trends is a must for any designer but even more important is defining your own style. To be successful it’s not good enough to just do what everyone else is doing you need to show originality and bring out your own ideas within your work. The best designers out there are the ones that have their own way of own way of doing things that are distinctive.

I believe one of the most important ways of becoming a top designer is in the process to how you set up for a project. I have seen many dive in and try to do things too fast. Many try and design on the computer without even thinking. I have been guilty of this in the past myself but over the years I have developed my own process that helps me achieve my goals.

I believe that everything needs a process and one that you are comfortable with and work to every time you do anything. For example when I design a web site I don’t touch a computer until I’m ready to begin making graphics. I always begin by grabbing my notepad and sketching out some very rough layouts using shapes so I can get an idea of how the site could be set out. I then consider the colours to be used by going through a checklist that looks at existing logos, the genre and notable design considerations already outlined by the client. Once I’ve gone through this process I then begin experimenting with these ideas by making shapes on the computer and eventually building layers that have images. Whist this works for me it may not work for you and it may not be part of your style. You must experiment and find you own way of doing things.

Aside from the obvious design there is also knowing how the site will function.

With web design there is more than just design from an aesthetics point of view. You can make a nice looking site but that doest mean it will function very well. So we have to consider everything in our design from how it is made to how things will move on different resolutions.

Accessibility has become very important and so it should be as the web is there for everyone so why should we prevent others that are less fortunate from viewing your site. We have take in the fact that as the web grows more and more users will be accessing the internet and not always using a computer. This why being a designer no longer means knowing how to design it also requires knowledge of the workings of a site for a designer to be successful.

The gap between the designer and the developer is closing. We can see a general trend in the industry moving designers towards developing. Early on designers were merely just that, a designer, now designers need knowledge of programming and more often than not it is part of the job description for them to know such things as CSS, JavaScript and even a working knowledge of ASP or PHP. We are also needed to look at more types of digital media. Video is becoming a everyday occurrence where as a few years ago it was hardly ever used. Broadband has given us a huge step towards a better internet. The web is longer about sharing information with each other it is now about interacting using the internet. It has become another form of communication. Forums were the starting point of social interaction online and it flourished into web sites that are set up to link people from all over the word such as Myspace. Imagine designing for sites like this 10 years ago it would never of seemed possible although the idea of it was probably there, the technology wasn’t. image what will be in the next 10 years.