Developing your skills as a designer is crucial to taking your career in the right direction on this competitive market. Product design is, however, a conglomeration of many disciplines: graphic design, interaction design, motion design, UI and UX design, just to name a few - and that’s on top of understanding and serving your clients’ business goals. How, then, can you stay abreast of new developments in your field, keep constantly polishing your skills, and stay sane?
Work-life balance is important, but you know what they say about the time it takes to master a skill. Thousands of hours. If you truly want to excel at something, you have to be prepared to pay for it in the most valuable resource you have: time.
Willingness to learn is the basis on which you’re going to build your career, but you want to have a good blueprint before you end up investing your time and effort in the wrong things. Take advantage of the fact that many designers before you walked this path. Learn from their mistakes.
You probably won’t get very far if you don’t love what you do. Designers tend to be curious people, focused on problem solving and getting to the inner workings of whatever they are focusing on. This kind of curiosity can not only help you with choosing what you want to specialise in, but also in everyday work.
Remember that you don’t have to be alone on this path to becoming a better designer. If you already work with a team and you can all help each other, fantastic - take full advantage of it. If not, remember that there’s a bustling community out there, full of people with all levels of skill and experience. Many are eager to learn, and many others are willing to teach.
While effort and dedication are important, all your work will be for naught if you end up burning out and hating what you do. Remember, you’re doing this for yourself, so put yourself on top of your list of priorities, at least sometimes.
We spoke to our designers about what resources they use to develop their skills. They’ve provided a handy list, which might not be exhaustive, but it’s definitely full of valuable knowledge.
And that’s it. If you have any cool resources you'd like to share, let us know!