The things you learn at your first job and even in your further jobs will always be as crucial as your educational degree. Designing alone won’t suffice, teamwork, communications, client-skills, social aptitude, professional relations, all of these things play a significant role in your dream of becoming a successful designer.
Here are a few things you’d wish to have learnt in design school!
If you’re an artist, then why are soft skills required? Well, being a designer, having knowledge about design only is not quite enough. In order to do designing, you will first have to think, observe and articulate your ideas. You will be required to have justifiable ideas and designs. If you won’t be able to answer and explain the why’s of your choices to your clients, then you’d have to say goodbye to client-satisfaction. If you don’t have answers, then you won’t be able persuade your clients, leading to the crashing of your plans and ideas. Furthermore, you have to manage your time, communicate with your seniors and interact with your teammates, maintaining a cordial relation with everyone. Hence, you need to make sure of acquiring soft skills before you jump onto your plans further.
Managing multiple clients is not at all an easy job, it gets harder as you grow along the way. It’s not to scare you, rather, it’s here to prepare you. You must follow one rule of thumb- LISTEN. Remember, hearing and listening are two different things and to manage clients effectively, you need to listen. If you listen properly, only then you’d be able to clearly understand clients’ views, needs and feedback. This also enables you to understand whether your idea has been bought or whether it turned out like a slam-dunk, straight up dead. Being capable of responding positively to your clients and being welcoming of their feedback, helps you in managing the clients better and get your work done in an efficient way.
FUNCTIONALITY > DESIGN LOOKS
Real world websites are for providing better results and not just for pleasing aesthetics. Designing pretty looks is not effective, if it’s not functional and dynamic. Hence, we aim at designing good-looking, yet functional websites that appeal to the target audience effectively. This helps you beat competition and let’s you stay on top. At the end of the day, we create and design websites to build a brand, take lead and drive audiences.
NEW IDEAS, ALWAYS WELCOMED
Designers are constantly required to come up with fresh ideas for brands and sometimes even are asked to bring multiple ideas to the plate, for the same project. It can be quite intense! And it’s a possibility that you might get designer’s block, so to break it you will have to sit down with your team members. Then you brainstorm various ideas, discuss and sift through those ideas. That’s how you quickly come up with fresh ideas and interesting design angles. It makes things a lot smoother.
THINK BIG, LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE
Working a job requires completing tasks within tight deadlines, where you have to make close calls. It can be really consuming. The deadline pressure makes designers forget the essence of time and hence leaves designers caught in the web of little details and nuances. Therefore, it is important to be able to take a pause and have a good look at the whole picture, every design, detail and variation. To help create focus and effectiveness, ask yourself this- what is the purpose of my design? Where is the user and what do they require? How will my design provide sense to the user’s decisions? What are the technicalities?
Once you find the answers to these, you will be able to calmly get your work done.
OWN YOUR STYLE
Design school often asks you to design for a specific set of products and hence you end up with similar designs. Although, you learnt a lot but you weren’t challenged enough. You need to have that kind of challenge every now and then to jog your sense of style. You owe it yourself to find your own style and way of conducting your work. Your unique approach is what will get you up that success ladder, it will make you stand out in the crowd.
Here’s the path to your dreams, become that star designer! It might feel lousy at times, having to go through a long process, but trust me, it is worth every second.