As a website designer, you need to be up-to-speed with the latest in the industry if you want your designs to be relevant. If you get trapped into designing websites that aren’t what the target audiences expect, your websites won’t succeed and you will fast lose ground to your competitors.
Website designing is a continuous process of learning and relearning. It’s about knowing about the latest updates in website design technology and understanding their use to make the website more cutting edge.
Let’s see how as a web designer, you can keep yourself updated:
1. Interact with Fellow Designers
As a website designer, I am sure you will know people who are in the same profession. These could be at your place of work, from amongst your friends, or even family members. You need to make it a point to interact with them regularly. These are the people who will be more willing to share a hot designing tip with you or explain the nitty-gritty of the latest updates to you, than anybody else.
2. Connect with Authority Figures
These are the people who have made their mark in the world of website designing. You will find that many of these people or almost all of them are on Facebook or Twitter. So, connect with them through social media; you will find that they keep in touch with the latest happenings in the web design domain and share links with their fans and followers.
How do you go about finding these people? Well, just ask around, search on Google, or better yet, just go through popular web resources like www.smashingmagazine.com, look up the contributors, and if you think you like a blog post that has been really well written, connect with that writer. As you go along, you will find new ways to connect with authority figures.
There is an unlimited supply of free and paid reading material on the web that will give you newer insights into web design. Identify the blogs that cater to your niche, and subscribe to them. What’s more, if you find an article wherein you want to comment, do that. This will also help you interact with the author and who knows you might just be able to interact with him at a personal level after a period of time.
4. Join Web Design Forums
There are plenty of these out there, so identify forums which actually are worth joining. There are the forums where the industry experts hang out. This is where you can actually get involved with the web design community at large; these are forums where people meet, talk, discuss, debate and help each other out. Many a revolutionary web design trend has germinated out of a discussion taking place in such forums.
5. You must be Curious
Are you curious about getting more knowledge about your domain? Are you actually interested in knowing more about your domain and the latest trends that are making an impression? Do you seriously want to keep in touch with the latest happening in your field? If you aren’t curious and are thinking of website design like just another job that needs to be done, you will never be successful in keeping yourself updated.
Whether you keep yourself updated or not depends on how badly you want to keep abreast of the latest happenings in your field.
Why is Important?
Why must you keep yourself updated? The answer is not hard to find. If you don’t know what’s happening in your domain, you will find it difficult to come good on your audience’s expectations. What’s more, audiences expect a certain kind of freshness in websites and this is something that you won’t be able to offer them if your designs follow the same old routine.
In order to succeed, website designers will need to bring forth some unique idea all the time. This needs confidence and this also needs knowledge of the latest web technology that is best suited to bringing this uniqueness to the site. This is why keeping yourself updated is of utmost importance.
As a designer, you need to make ‘information gathering’ a part of your routine. You not only need to source the latest information from various sources, but you need to be able to use it when needed. For this, you need to store this information. It’s difficult to remember everything that you are told or you read, so whenever you find something of import, just take a note. Have a system in place, where you can get your hands on this information when you most need it. Otherwise it’s of no use.
Even the best website designers make every attempt to keep themselves updated about the latest happenings in the world of web designing. This is just one of the many reasons why they are themselves reputed names in the industry.