I have been blindsided by many things about design. I believed my puddle of water was an ocean. Before this internship, I always felt bored and negative about everything that I did. What I was doing was never the design that inspired me to start pursuing design. I am now realizing I had barely touched it. I have done and learned more in the last two months than I ever expected.
“In the beginning, you want to keep it as dumb and stupid as possible.”
— Tobias van Schneider
Explore as many options as possible – as quickly and early as you can
In my previous article, I wrote about knowing which details to focus on and when. Knowing when to refine and polish the details was quite tricky to me. It was unlikely my idea would be a good solution on the first try. So sticking to one idea and refining it early on ended up being counterproductive.
I soon learned that no matter how much time I spend on refining and polishing an idea, it will always end up looking bad if it's not the best solution. Instead, exploring many different options that aren't fully polished was much more efficient. This gave me and my team a broader look at different outcomes.
I am learning to waste my ideas as much as possible in the beginning. To allow myself to be stupid and accept there is no right or wrong at this stage. Soon, this will land me on a good idea. And that is when I start to refine and polish the details.
I always keep in mind that "most things don't matter—but when it does, you want to get the details right."
“It is our own opinion and ideas that make us designers. If not, we are just mere tools.”
Our opinion is what makes our work original
I'm also slowly developing my taste as I get to work with many different styles. As a result, I'm technically getting better without focusing on studying the tools. I am slowly finding my voice and learning how to bring my own perspective to a team.
Having and voicing an opinion brings originality to my work. At least, that's how I'm starting to see it nowadays. When my work doesn't have an opinion, there's nothing special about it. So, anyone can do what I do. I always design with an opinion, but I fail to express it when sharing my work. That's where everything goes to dust.
Until recently, I consciously avoided giving my opinions. I believed I didn't have the work to back it up. My teammates know better than me, so why bother? But I was wrong. I am learning that my unique is what makes me valuable to a team. They expect and need me to voice my opinion. And I can shape the way they receive my work by stating intention behind it.
When I share my opinion, my team can see my thinking and give more meaningful feedback. It opens up more learning possibilities and gives me more room to grow. No matter how it turns out, it's a win-win situation. I get to learn, and my teammates have a fresh perspective in the mix.
After all, it is our own opinion and ideas that make us designers. If not, we are just mere tools.
Design isn’t just about the visuals
So far, what I have learned in design is either by watching videos or taking courses. Everything taught was around the current trends. So naturally, I was fully focused on the visual aspect of design. I learned there is much more to it than that.
HOVS approaches things differently. See it for yourself: Look at the Semplice.com homepage and recent print ad. Or read the Why page for the new mymind.com website. They all have powerful copy that evokes various emotions. Especially the print ad, which moved me and took me back in time for a moment. This wouldn't be possible solely with visuals, as it can restrict how you imagine and feel things.
I quickly realized that for everything, there is a solution. Copy is just one of them. Visuals, motion and sound are others. These mediums are tools we can pick up and use as designers. One may be a better solution than another, or they might all play together. In the end, this has made me very curious and conscious that I should always look outside strictly visuals for more possibilities.
Onto the third month, I am slowly gaining confidence as I learn to see things differently. Previously, I limited my world to designing apps, focusing on UX, UI, prototyping and other technical aspects of design. Now I'm realizing my world can be much bigger.
I'm very eager to explore and experiment new things and not restrict myself to the bare minimum. This is going to be a very long journey, and my goal is to take on every challenge with a smile.