Lather, Rinse, Repeat (thoughts on process)
I am a firm believer in developing design processes shaped by our everyday experiences. I’ve seen many people directly mimic another’s process, techniques, elements and solutions without understanding how it ended up that way and never taking the time and make it their own. As designers we love to surround ourselves with things that are well designed. This can be great to a point, but how could we ever come up with a different and perhaps better solution to the problem? Creative refinement takes a sacrificial investment of effort to fix a problem that only passionate people make.
I’ve had clients for as long as I can remember, and although these clients weren’t my primary source of income, they’ve given me the ability to set high expectations for myself and the work I deliver. If a client wants or needs something that isn’t in my skill set, I learn it. If they need consulting in an area that isn’t my expertise, I research it extensively so I can report back with knowledgeable answers. If we value ourselves and the people around us, these are things that we should all be practicing.
Removal as responsibility
As we gather exponential amounts of information everyday, we need to keep in mind that specialization is also key to survival. Scheduling time in our process to refine specialties keeps us at the front of our profession (a very exciting place to be I might add). Refining our skills allows us to remove old habits and replace them with the new and exciting possibilities of the web today. Simplifying and removing have always been important skills to have as a designer, and translate very well to becoming a better developer as well. We can practice this in code by removing inline styles, documenting our code for other developers, and combining files to speed up site download time.
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