Tips for junior designers

Feb 1 2021 | Blog

We've all been beginners before we got really good at anything. How many times must we have fallen before we could walk? Or how long did you have to wear Velcro before you could tie your shoelaces? So everywhere you start as a beginner, with more talent for some things than others. But still as a beginner. And as a beginner you don't know everything yet, which is why we have listed a number of tips for all novice or junior designers. That perhaps your path to senior designer will involve fewer falls than when you tried to learn to walk. 

Tips for designers


Take it easy
You're damn talented. But in your eagerness to prove it, sometimes you rush to a solution. You pick an idea out of a hat and throw it on the table before it has time to mature. Many think that coming up with an idea is the hardest part. But is that really the case? Ideas are often not to be trusted. They need to be puzzled out and dissected. To do our job well, we must take our promising ideas apart and turn them into something better. 

The process feels mechanical and clumsy at first. Over time, the distinction between idea and iteration will become blurred. Ultimately the two become one. So go deeper. Stop wasting time expanding your ideas, even if you're sure they're perfect or useless.


Think it through carefully
We'd like to believe that design speaks for itself, but a big part of the job is helping others make their voices heard. So the why of your work turns a great document into a great product. 

At some point in your career you'll meet an awkward piety who wants to know why every pixel is where you put it. You should be able to formulate an answer for that person, yes, for every pixel. What does this rule do? But why here? Why that color? Why that thickness? “It looks better” won't be enough. You need a reason that explains hierarchy, balance, gestalt, in other words ways of saying “it looks better”. But ways that assure stakeholders that you understand the basics of your profession. Also make sure you can explain which alternatives you rejected and why.


Don't get too carried away
Don't get it wrong, passion is good. It drives people and creates new goals. But don't get carried away. You will also be more effective if you show the evidence behind your beliefs, rather than the strength of those beliefs. Softer language earns fewer retweets, but better results. If you have a premonition, call it a premonition. It shows honesty and it leaves room for you to be unequivocal about the things you are sure of.

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