What Makes a Good Web Designer?

A good designer rarely comes with just years of studying what you have learned in school. Sometimes as designers, we tend to focus on assignments and their requirements that we begin to steer away from the social scene where experience awaits. However, If we are just doing things for a letter grade, we are doing very little for the skill set that comes with the experience of making mistakes and taking risks in the process. As most of my professors have already stressed, you have to go out and play a little bit. I’ve been told if i want to get better with Photoshop, I need to go play with the tools we never covered in class to get better affiliated with them. This past summer I took this advice with Premiere Pro and I’ve learned how to do certain things in my own special way. Outside the technical realm, drawing everyday, reading and watching documentaries helps me shift my creativity to a different level. Even experiences like strolling my 3-year old down the street, passing litter and honking cars along the way, my brain begins to tinker on a whole other level. I get a unique, first-hand experience of how society is designed to work and flow. As i begin to see things in a new light, my brain seems to speed up it’s gears and question everything coming my way as a chance for opportunity. When you can recognize design in the structure of society, you start providing your own innovative solutions to everyday problems.

For instance, I walk to school everyday and I have noticed mass amounts of metal waste that collect in our streets and how dangerous it can be for commuters and pedestrians. I began thinking of ways to get rid of this clutter by developing some sort of magnetic device that could be easily installed on curb-sides on every block of the city. I have many sketches, but not patents pending yet to date. But this is what i believe to be a great step towards being a great web-designer, by simply observing problems, and asking questions. As an artist, when it comes to everyday problems, I almost immediately begin by asking creative questions as i notice the poor ways things have been designed. In the article, “Why you need to ask creative questions,” it is clear that “To optimize creativity, elicit what the mainstream don’t do, and if useful, build it in your toolbox. Questions are certainly tools that radically enhance your results.

As with thinking, different perspectives can improve your way of thinking and flow of creativity, so by learning something new altogether outside of computer work, this can generate great design. After all, as you stated in our last lecture, “Design is a process.” This was also the basis of the article “Design isn’t just about pixels,” the author states “Anyone can study programs and learn about the history of Helvetica, but the best designers are those who understand life outside the monitor.”