There are Three Responses to a piece of design: YES, NO and WOW !
WOW is the one to aim for – Milton Glaser
Anyone can learn designing and become a designer but you will be become a better designer when you start aiming for that “WOW FACTOR”.
Let me ask you this question – Who is a perfectionist?
If you ask me, he or she is the person who works to achieve something great which no one has achieved before, create something which no one has created and this is only possible when you learn:
a) The Art of Discipline
b) The Art of Storytelling
c) The Art of Negotiations
d) The Art of Selling
I have always told this to my team whether they are designing, digital marketing, developers or sales team, always aim high and correctly to the target you want to achieve.
It should never be like what we say in hindi “Chalta hai or dekh lenge” kind of thing.
You have to be the best.
This is not an easy thing to achieve and takes time.
Now you must be wondering how to become a better designer? Or How famous designers reached at a point where they are now. How did they improve in their life in order to become a better designer.
How, What, When and Where – These are the questions that designers ask themselves, the hunger to become a better designer, improve themselves and so many thoughts cross their mind.
Let me tell you one thing, people will say a lot of things, but no one exactly tell you how they achieved so much. This will always remain a secret but things are different here. I always believe in helping others so that they can also improve and the knowledge is shared with others.
So today I’m going to share what I’ve told my team members and the same thing that I’m going to tell you in order to become better designer.
Top 10 Things You Need To Know Guide To Become a Better Designer
There is no shortcut in life, you have to be smart, intelligent and hard working in order to achieve what you desire. Patience is also the key to success and become better in life as well as in your design career. So read till the end if you really want to make a change in your career and want to become a better designer.
1. The Art Of Discipline
Discipline is not achieved by a day or two, you have to be consistent in learning new things, developing your skills, learn and educate yourself as much as you can. It feels very hard in the beginning but once you are mentally prepared and take your decision, there is no going back.
Just look forward and keep on doing what you love to do. In a matter of no time, you will see significant changes in yourself which will help you become a better person and a designer.
Anyone can relate this to, you have to constantly invest in yourself if you want to become better in your own field. This can only be achieved by learning the Art Of Discipline.
2. The Art Of Storytelling
Once my teacher said
If you are a good storyteller, you can easily attract people and win hearts
Authentic storytelling is the key to creating a successful brand. It’s how you communicate with people.
Same thing should be with your designs too.
For instance, there are 2 designs both are beautiful, well crafted but the only difference is – one has a story which is telling how it is made, what are the challenges it has faced while making it, what was the thought process and motive behind it.
Other designs have nothing like this.
Which one will you be interested in?
Obviously the One with story, we humans get attracted to stories and want to spend time discussing it, get to know about it which develops our interest.
Here is an example of one our project which covers the story who we worked on this project and the learnings we got.
Roghandaaz – Food Delivery Kitchen In Pune, India
So, if you are a very good storyteller this will definitely help you but if you are not, then it’s OK.
You can develop this skill by reading books, following famous people or to whom you follow. How they started, What Problem they were trying to solve as a designer, try to imagine what they were thinking about the process in which they created it and what approach they were having to build that design or brand which made it successful.
Try to portray this in your own words and tell your friends to give you feedback. This will definitely help you to become a better designer.
3. The Art Of Negotiations
You know what is a deadly combination?
A person who is a very good storyteller and who is disciplined.
These are very rare to find because they are at the top level and it’s not easy to reach out to them. They have learned the skills and mastered them, they know how to communicate with users, clients or maybe better the hybrid version of people.
They know they will deliver great experience through their stories and quickly attract people or their clients while dealing to sell ideas, designs and leverage the business to its full fledged form.
Try to learn the Art of Negotiations so that you can become a better designer and if you are running an agency or a studio or a company, this will definitely help you.
4. The art Of Selling
When I say – The art of Selling many people think that we have to learn how to sell and that’s correct up to some point but what I’m trying to say is when you have learned the art of discipline, storytelling and negotiation, the art of selling means conveying your thoughts to others so that they can listen to you about a particular interest or topic which you’ve mastered.
This especially works while you are dealing with clients, if you know how to sell your thoughts and crack a deal. Your designs and work will speak for you.
5. Mastering UX Design
The Designer is the medium between the client and the audience.
It’s the designer and research team’s responsibility to condense the data into simple ideas which is actionable and clear. They have to look for various ways through which they can control the overall experience of the user while building designs.
Like we had a conversation with a UX Researcher on our Podcast and he gave us the insights about the roles and responsibilities of UX Researcher and having them on a company, is very fruitful and beneficial.
Let’s suppose you are working for a company and you have given a task for their brand positioning, research, strategy etc. So how will you do it?
This is what I’ve learned:
a) First you should know all or at least have a good knowledge about What is Brand Positioning? Or How to develop communication strategy for clients
b) If you already know about brand Positioning, your next step should be understanding user profiles which can be done by calling them, surveys, analytics and behaviour
Tip – If you know who your customer is you have already won the chances of winning by 30% rest depends on you and your skills.
6. Information Architecture
By reading the heading itself you will get an idea what we are going to talk about. Information Architecture is the way of dealing with the information how it is going to be presented so that it fits the best benefit for the user.
Let’s suppose you are designing a website, so you have to decide which information will be displayed and how much area it should take so that the user stays longer as well as engages properly. At the same time you have to keep in mind What message your client wants to convey to customers, so that information should be displayed first.
When you visit our website, you will see what we have written “We Build Brands That Inspire” and then little information is displayed in sections like about us, clients, blogs, podcast, brand strategy etc.
7. Understanding Graphics Design Basics
You must understand the fundamental graphic design basics to improve yourself and your designs. By following them you will get to know how to create pleasing visual elements which will attract customers.
This comes very useful when you are doing the brand identity for your clients. You have a process and a message which can be conveyed and the target can be achieved.
8. Typography and Color Theory
Typography is that art which can be mastered with years and years of practise. You should have an experience working on different projects, understanding their wants and needs, then only you can get to know what it takes to select the typefaces which will create an impact.
You have created a poster for an upcoming event, If the wrong typeface is selected, you will end up creating an ugly poster which no one wants to look at. You don’t want this right?
So understanding which typeface will go with the overall theme and its scalability is very important.
Do let me know what blunder mistakes you have committed and what you learned from it.
9. Color Theory
Color has a huge impact on how users interact with the design. We’ll take the same example of poster design for an event. The colors should be very nicely chosen so that you can give the feel and vibe of the event. You can create your own color palette for this and test things before showing to your clients.
10. Design Software
It is essential to have good tools, but it is also essential that the tools should be used in a right way – Wallace D. Wattles
What I have seen with new designers is they install every designing software they can and try to learn them all which is totally the wrong way to start.
What I always suggest is to start by taking small steps and check which designing software works for you and which is not. Having an adobe suite is very nice but there are different softwares like Sketch, Figma and Invision Studio too which you should definitely explore.
As you get more advanced, it will become more easy to use any designing tool according to your need.
No matter what you do, at what level you are, always take a break when you have completed your design, take a moment and think how the person on the other side of the table will feel when he/she looks at your design. Make sure your designs tell a story which will drive your clients or customers to different worlds
Remember designing community is that community which is full of creativity but once the fundamental functionality is added, you can achieve great heights in your career.
So do tell me about what you think about these TOP 10 guides which will help you in becoming a better designer.
Did I miss something? If yes, please let me know in the comment section below and do share your experiences with us.
Also, join our designing community, share your experiences with others, teach them from your mistakes.
You can always connect with me on social media, or commenting down below and you can help Mount Woods Studio to build a design community. A community where all the knowledge is shared from different people and different parts of the world.