Website designing calls for introspection. You might have achieved a solid reputation as a designer, but you must constantly self-examine your attitude towards designing and if you are as passionate about it now as you were before. You must also ask yourself whether your designs are meeting the creative benchmarks that you have set for yourself.
Yes, client feedback and website popularity gives you third party feedback about the quality and aesthetic appeal of your designs, but what about your own estimation of your designing skills, that is of crucial importance. If you don’t introspect you won’t feel the need to improve yourself or challenge yourself. And if you don’t look to improving your skills and the quality of your designs, you won’t feel like updating your knowledge of web design and the latest designing trends.
The last is a cardinal mistake. All web designers worth their salt need to keep updating their skillsets and visual ideas. This helps them not get bogged down by designer block, a problem that web designers constantly face. As a designer, it’s only if you update your knowledge that you can explore newer and more creative avenues of website design. By bettering yourself, you will better your designs.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways web designers can keep themselves updated:
Keep improving upon your technical knowledge
What’s the latest in HTML5? Is there a new update in CSS3? Am I proficient in the latest version of Dreamweaver and other designing tools? Asking yourself these questions will help you improve your knowledge base and adapt the latest in designing technology on your website projects. This will help you enrich your designs and go one up over your competition.
Get Inspired From Other Websites
Go through the top ten lists which list down the top websites. Take a look at their designs and save the link of any website that takes your fancy and which you believe has used design elements in a more inventive and never seen before manner. Analyze it at your leisure, and draw inspiration from such websites. By taking a look at them, you might get a brand new web design idea of your own. Going through such websites will be like a trigger for your imagination.
Follow the latest trends
What are the latest trends that are making people sit up and take notice? It’s important to be aware of these trends. And you really don’t need to do anything other than just read the latest articles that are talking about these trends. This article on 10 web design trends you can expect to see in 2013 is a perfect example of the kind of articles you must read.
Think about it for a moment, if there is a popular trend going around and you know nothing about it, wont it reflect poorly on you and your designing skills?
Join Web Design Discussion Forums
Interaction with the larger community of web designers will help keep yourself in the loop about the latest opinions, discussions, hot topics, design trends, problems, and designing techniques in the world of web design. The best way to interact with your fellow designers will be to join web design discussion forums like:
The great thing about discussion forums is you get a platform for discussing your ideas with people who are as interested in website designing as you are. Also, some of these forums are a treasure trove of resources, that can help you improve your designing skills by a long way.
Leverage Social Media
Social networks especially Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are a happening place. You can get info about the latest development in your niche, which in this case is web design, on social media. What’s more you can get the latest information from an across the board range of sources, including design blogs, and even designers.
Create your own social media profile and add fans and follower to your list, start interacting with the design experts in your niche. You will be surprised at the kind of inspiration you can get just by following specific profiles on social media.
These are just some of the many ways you can keep yourself motivated, updated and inspired as a designer. But the question many web designers, especially newbies might ask is this, Why is all this necessary in the first place?
The Importance of keeping yourself Updated
There is tremendous competition in this domain. Newer and highly motivated website designers are entering this domain every day, which means you won’t be able to handle this competition if you aren’t updated about the latest information, news and developments in website designing.
Also the fact that you are using various sources to know the happenings of your niche, gives you a wider vision of the website designing domain, and helps you understand it better. You need to know what works and what doesn’t for your target audience, and living in a bubble of your own creation is not going to give you this knowledge. You need to go out there, read, interact, become adept at new technical developments, and keep improving yourself as a designer. This will also help you think better and come up with better and more unique designing ideas.
To remain fresh and not lose your relevance in web designing, updating yourself is an absolute must.