How a designer get rid of his routine and keep his interest in his work
Since design education is only developing, most of the current designers are self-taught. Because of this, novice professionals do not have a clear understanding of what the designer actually does and what is the essence of his work. All this leads to the fact that getting into the daily routine of studios and grocery teams, many are disappointed in their chosen profession, believing that this is its limit.
I, like many, began my journey in design, copying other people's work, and only over the years I began to understand what exactly the task of our profession was. And since the directions of design are many, the tasks of different designers can be very different.
Some people get tired of moving gray rectangles and discussing analytical reports. Others are tired of the constant influx of edits. Still others got visual improvements, and they would rather like to move on to designing a new framework.
Interface design is a deep field where every specialist will be able to find the right direction and realize their ambitions to the fullest. If you came to the design with enthusiasm, but in the course were disappointed in it, then most likely, you are not in the right place.
In this article, I will suggest several ways that have helped me and other designers get rid of the routine and re-awaken interest in their work.
Immersion in the profession
The most proven method that has repeatedly helped me regain interest in the profession is to learn something new. For example, undergo design training or immerse yourself in related fields (analytics, development, management).
At the beginning of my journey, I took the course “Design in a Digital Environment” from Nikita Obukhov from Tilda. A few years later, I took over the experience of the AIC design studio on the “UX Design” course. None of these courses was the key, but everyone helped me to immerse myself in the profession a little deeper.
Read the sensible book. I prefer biographies, business literature and books that make you think. I’ve already shared with you a list of favorite books , so I’ll choose the ones that suit designers best:
Donald Norman: Design of ordinary things
The classic book, which in numerous examples reveals the essence of the work of the designer. If you had to choose one, I would advise it.
Alan Cooper: The Interface
A book that Yuri Vetrov calls the bible of the designer. It discusses a variety of methods and principles of interface design.
Nier Eyal: On the hook, the
author shares a four-step process that allows the user to inculcate the habit of using your product.
Listen to a good lecture , for example, from Google product director Luke Wroblewski, where he shares statistical data on the use of mobile devices, draws conclusions based on them, and tells how to improve the understanding and convenience of the interface, using Google services as an example.
Scale of tasks
Many designers have to solve the same type of tasks, which practically do not affect the final result. Despite the fact that in large design teams the process of development of specialists is built, the designer may get stuck in a closed ring:
There are no significant tasks → Slow development of skills → Do not trust significant tasks
To get out of this situation, treat even the most banal task as a challenge , and try to come up with the best solution in the world, even for a small interface detail. And even if you realize that a better solution is one that has been tested over the years, you won’t waste your time, as you plunge deeper into the profession.
If at the current job you are not working on large-scale tasks, you can always invent them yourself. To do this, pay attention to the following tool.
I wrote about this tool in detail , so I will repeat the key things. If your daily tasks do not correspond to personal ambitions, you will have to take everything into your own hands, setting yourself a meaningful task yourself.
Your task may be: update the visual style or improve the convenience of a large service. Many designers, thanks to similar projects, have opened their way to foreign companies.
There is no guarantee that the first project will immediately bring you fame in the design environment, but without the first unsuccessful projects you will not be able to create something meaningful. Patience is the key to everything.
Some designers leave large studios and create their own. I understand that this option is not for everyone. Alternatively, you can grow within the company by taking a management position. For example, art director, where you will adjust the direction of work of other designers. Or a manager, where you will determine the direction of product development.
But here you need to understand that no one will appoint you to a new position until you independently take the initiative in solving new problems. Only a very talented (or lucky) manager can notice the hidden potential of his employee. In most cases, you need to act independently.
Since there are many design directions, you may not be in the right place. For example, you can understand that you are tired of regular edits and fast-moving projects. In this case, perhaps you should do some grocery work. And if you want to create new concepts, and you start falling asleep, discussing the improvement of the same scenarios for the tenth time, then the studio or personal projects after work would be the best option.
Do not become a hostage to the situation in which you are at the moment. Sometimes, a life kick, such as firing, helps us a lot. Think, perhaps you should not wait for a gift of fate, but it is worth taking a decisive step on your own.
If you read my storyyou know that at some point I and part of the team had to leave the last startup, but thanks to that I was able to find a new project where I can influence the final result much more than before.
If you have already gained experience and lost interest in repetitive, even large projects, it may be time to share your experience with others. Habr is read by thousands of designers, so why not help them improve their skills?
I occasionally receive thanks from designers who read my articles and notes in the Telegram-channel . And it often pleases me a lot more than new projects. I would not be surprised that thanks largely to the feedback, I am still writing.
ROUTINE - PART OF ANY WORK
Finally, I want to note that there is nothing bad in the routine. Routine is part of the work of any specialist.
Johnny Ive, working on the Apple technique, spent many hours creating the physical objects of future devices. Boris Akunin polishes each sentence in his book for many weeks. Cristiano Ronaldo after a team workout performs an additional set of exercises, and so on for many years.
Routine is part of our work. And well, if you like it. In this case, it will be easier for you to overcome the decline of motivation and failure, without which there are no achievements.
Look at a career strategically, asking a simple but very effective question:
Where will I be in three years, if I continue to do what I do now?
And if the answer does not please you, then you need to change something.