As a designer to earn more, the perfect work tool and search for ideas

    The best ideas of recent weeks from TheDesignTimes telegram channel

    How to earn more

    Many designers are fighting in the glass ceiling, trying to sell their services more expensive, instead of taking a step to the side and climbing the stairs.

    There is one proven way to help earn money above the market without superhuman efforts:

    Choose an area that scales well or with a high cost of goods.

    Online services are best scaled, but if you specialize in expensive products, such as cars, you can also make good money.

    Think not as part of the value of your hour, but of the value that you bring to the client . If your job helps you sell your customer an extra mug, sit and shut up. But when your design helps sell more cars or brings hundreds of new customers or transactions to the bank, you can (must) increase the value of your work at times.

    How to find an idea

    A few years ago I decided to conduct an experiment. Then I wrote down all the ideas that came up on the stickers and looked at each one at the end of the week. At some point, I wondered where these ideas come from.

    During the month, in addition to the idea itself, I recorded the type of activity at the time of its appearance. As a result, I have accumulated about fifty stickers and it turned out that the overwhelming majority of ideas come to mind while reading , not only from the book itself, but, by themselves, appear in my head.

    While reading, our consciousness switches to another mode. I think you yourself noticed that such a situation occurs periodically when you seem to have read the page, but did not remember anything, because at that time your thoughts were wandering somewhere (perhaps, in search of new ideas).

    That is why reading books has become for me one of the most important tools for finding ideas for new projects or improving old ones.

    What to do when “no tasks”

    Even when the entire design of the project is ready, you can always find useful lessons. Here are a few:

    Analyze the system for errors, difficult moments and think about improving them.

    Once again, go through all the scenarios, making a Customer Journey Map. Perhaps you will find a way to simplify them.

    Think about the direction in which the product may come in the future and, based on this, start designing new interfaces.

    Analyze competitors, read the reports of consulting companies about your industry, study related services.

    Perfect designer tool

    When people talk about tools in the design environment, they usually mention Sketch, Figma, Framer, Adobe XD and many more (read Yuri Vetrov's channel). But, plunging into the essence of our work, I understood that the developer should be the ideal designer tool .

    The layer of layouts in the whole process of working on a product is a rather stupid thing. It would be much more effective to remove it by linking directly the designers and developers, thereby saving a lot of time and resources of the company.

    Of course, to completely abandon the layouts will not work, but I very much doubt that in a few years the designers will still keep all the drawn screens. Most likely, instead of them there will be several key ones, and the rest will be decided through close interaction between the designer and the developer.

    Working on the current service, I understand (and bring it to my colleagues) that my design is not in mock-ups, my design is at the front .

    Knowledge base

    The first years of work I did not think about maintaining the knowledge base of the project, but with experience I understood its necessity. In addition to the fact that all your ideas will be recorded, it will be easier for you to introduce new people into the team and track your decisions.

    There are several types of materials in my database:

    • Competitor analysis . This file describes all services with similar mechanics and interesting features found during the study.
    • Scripts . Each service has several scenarios and the designer should know them well.
    • Customer Journey Map . A tool that helps analyze scenarios for potential problems.
    • Interfaces . Here I collect thoughts and ideas about key service locations.
    • Ideas . General thoughts on the future development of the product.

    A designer can not open a graphic editor for weeks, as the analysis of competitors, thinking through scenarios and options for the development of the service is not less important work. Therefore, do not neglect it.

    Creating a framework

    There is no universal framework, as each task has its own requirements for the interface. (Therefore, by copying patterns even from successful services, you may encounter a problem, since your tasks will not coincide.)

    When creating a framework, consider several things:

    What entities will you work with?
    These can be cards, tables, pictures, articles, graphics. Having determined this in advance, you can approximately understand which structure will suit the project.

    What devices will your users use?
    If mobile traffic occupies a significant place, then you should think over the adaptive interface.

    How can the interface be transformed in the future?
    Understanding this, you can create a structure that is ready for the appearance of a new functional.

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