Advice for Designers and Developers who want to improve their craft

[su_quote cite=”Jonathan Z White ” url=””]I see a lot of people, constantly looking over their shoulders and comparing themselves to their peers. Often times, those who perceive themselves as behind, panic. And those who feel ahead, become complacent. The only good measure of progress is where you are today versus where you were a year ago. Everyone defines and owns their craft. It’s impossible to make a one-to-one comparison between two people. Also, seeing how much you changed and improved over time can serve as a huge source of inspiration.[/su_quote]

As designers and developers, we can always improve the work that we do.

  • Even if it’s not part of your craft, learn more about your counterpart. If you’re a designer, learn more about development. It will help you understand the practical limitations that developers face. If you’re a developer, learn more about design. It will help you better empathize with the people who use your products.
  • Read more good code. You’ll pick up good habits and internalize design patterns that will be useful as you architect your own code.
  • Look at more designs. The more inspiration you look at the more diverse your designs will be.
  • Take care of your code. If you’re working with many other developers, write more unit tests. Unit tests help others understand what your code does and how it should work.
  • Study more design systems. It’s important to understand how design is applied to products.
  • Write less code. Spend more time thinking about what you want to achieve and how. Avoid verbose code with unnecessary logic.
  • Spend more time analyzing the impact of your designs before going back to the drawing board for the next iteration. Use quantitative analysis like user interviews and qualitative analysis like instrumentation to understand how people are using your product.

The list goes on forever. However there is a common theme among all of the bullet points: care about your work.

Whether you are a designer, developer, or both, treat what you do as part of your craft. Become so damn good that people can’t ignore you.

[su_note]This is part of an article Craftsmanship, design, and code by Jonathan Z. White on Medium.[/su_note]

kivuti kamau

Data Modelling, Design & Development

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