5 design habits that can screw anyone

8_August_2013_5designhabits

I have been experimenting with design lately and have learned a lot. There are so many do’s and don’t’s for design that will break you or make you. As the famous quote from Steve Jobs goes “Deciding what not to do is more important than deciding what to do”. So, in this blog post I am pointing out 5 don’t’s for design:

  1. Do not copy design: Designers when designing, let that be website design, product design or any sort of design, tend to look for the best designs out there. Many designers or companies copy designs which tend to be the best in the market. But if you look at their stats after launching their product, most of them failed to achieve what they thought they will be. In short their whole great-copied design didn’t work for them. The reason being that designers or design companies do their research related to the product they are working on. They spend days, weeks, months or sometimes even years going back and forth on few design ideas. The research also includes their target users, demographic, and other parameters. Once they collect and analyze that data, they design accordingly.
    Take away: Great design is there to inspire, not to copy. Do some research on your product and on its other parameters and then design accordingly.
  2. Do not waste time searching for the right medium: I have come across many people who spend their valuable time searching for the best tool available in the market to help them design their product. This is not a bad thing, but it’s a myth that without the best, one can not design the best. Creative people don’t seek any medium to design, they just design in whatever medium they are comfortable with. For instance, designers use Adobe’s illustrator in industry to design logos, but I know many who do the same on Adobe’s Photoshop, and that even without compromising on quality. Here’s one great example of a cute grandpa who paints digitally on Microsoft’s MS Paint. YES! You heard me, MS PAINT. Read the whole story here.
    Take away: Learn a medium and stick to it until you are comfortable enough to make the jump. Don’t hunt for the best medium all the time.
  3. Do not bombard user with information: Ever visited Yahoo’s homepage? No doubt you must have deviated a day or two from your goal of visiting yahoo’s site. Users get lost as soon as they hit a data-traffic, i.e. where there are lots and lots of data. Data-traffics are same as any large toy or book fair. Even you know where you want to go, you will be lost because there are so many text, images or videos placed to catch your attention. Minimize the steps involved in any process, may that be buying a product from your website or extracting a information from your invitation card. Here’s a lovely website that can teach you to create your product’s visual design suck less and increase information extraction in simple steps. Learn from Visualmess.
    Take away: Design websites, visiting cards, products or anything so that it’s easy for the user to extract information without spending much of their time and energy.
  4. Do not design just for the sake of beauty: Designing means solving a problem. It must be design’s first priority. When Steve Jobs, endorsed the importance of design, the whole world thought that design is they key to success for any product. Hard truth? It’s not. Design is just one side of the cube. Don’t forget there are many others. A successful product is highly dependent on one criteria, i.e. its problem-solving approach. If your product is not based on problem-solving approach, no design can add value for the long run.
    Take away: Design to solve a problem. Not just to make it aesthetically cool.
  5. Do not design just to deliver: Are you running a design based service company? Guess what?! The market is full of opportunities and you know that. Every now and then your company or you get a call to design or re-design someone’s or some company’s product. You are being flooded with opportunities based on your design skills, that’s fine. But think before taking up any project. Look at it’s other aspects. Ask whether is there any new design challenge that I will be tackling or it’s just another fancy design project which requires only re-touching. Also taking up challenging design projects enhances your skills. So it’s better to reject some and accept one rather than taking a lot of projects and compromising on personal and professional growth.
    Take Away: Don’t take projects just to deliver. Design for impact. If it’s not a challenge, it’s not design.

These insignificantly small tips will have a great impact on your product or businesses if applied timely. Hope to see you out there producing great designs.

Stay fresh, stay creative!