What does it take to be and succeed as a professional designer? It takes more than just natural talent. Here’s some definite things you need to succeed.
- Don’t bring other people’s ideas to the table, bring your own. You are much more valuable as a creative if you design using your own original creativity, instead of copying from those of others. Also, exercising your own thinking abilities and creative ingenuities helps you grow in your craft. Use others ideas to grow and nurture your own.
2. Be incredibly passionate about what you do. There’s a quote: “Do it with passion or not at all.” It’s hard to build yourself a successful career if you aren’t energetic and passionate about what you do. Hence, make sure you always choose a focus in your work where you can flourish and thrive.
- Be self-motivated and develop the ability to jump around in projects. The reality is most of the time, web designers wear a lot of hats and their job description encompasses a variety of tasks. So, it’s important to have this skill set in addition to your creative talents. The better of a multitasker you can be, the more valuable of a worker you can be to your employers.
4. Be a people person, or make yourself be a people person. Your ability to converse and interact with others will help you to communicate ideas and execute your work timely and efficiently. If sociability is not a natural strength, progress in your responsiveness towards others within conversations, business and non-business related.
- Let others evaluate your work and give feedback. Of course when we say others, we mean other creatives and designers. Ask them for their thoughts on your work and any project ideas they have to expand your work. A true designer is always learning from around them and improving their commercial and personal work.
6. Allow clients to review work early in the design process. This helps for several reasons. Primarily, then everyone is on the same page with layout and style. Secondarily, it helps you preserve your resources as the designer (and your sanity!) As a result, the next phases of the project usually go more smoothly.
7. Keep updated on technology. This includes programs, trends and hardware. Make it a goal everyday to read at least one instructive article or each week learn one new tip or technique. A highly competitive game calls for highly competitive players.
8. Be organized. As designers, this is not an option, but rather a requirement. Especially if you work for yourself or are the main designer in the company. Organized in mind and life helps you manage your time, work efficiently and succeed as a designer.
9. Keep a portfolio. Whether it be online or printed, it’s critical as a designer to have your work samples available for review by others. Especially for potential job opportunities and online exposure.
10. Learn online marketing. Be knowledgeable in the commonly used marketing techniques and strategies.