Try something new on every project

As a designer you’re supposed to be creative. You’re supposed to try things out. You’re supposed to experiment. That’s all well and good until clients, budgets and deadlines come along and get in the way. Design is a commercial service, you’re always being pushed to get things done and the margin for error is small. It’s tough to try new things when you’re feeling pressured.

Same old

As soon as you stop trying new things, you stop progressing. It’s easy to fall back to what you know, to return to what has worked previously. Often it’s the fastest way to get the job done. Revert to the colour palette you used a few projects back, stick to that same old combination of fonts that you’ve depended on multiple times before. The problem with doing this is that it might get the job done, but it completely halts you from becoming a better designer. It’s a fast track to getting stale.

It’s all in the name of progress

As a rule, on every project I try and do something new, something I haven’t done before. I step out of my comfort zone. It’s the only way to get better. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Find something that fits the project – it could be anything from using a new javascript library to something really small like using a new font. If you’ve never used CSS animation on a website before, why not? Try it out. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that you’re taking that leap of faith, you’re back to experimenting and that is what design is all about. That’s how you keep progressing.

Keep pushing

The great thing about pushing yourself is that when it goes right it’s an amazing feeling. Even when things don’t work out there’s still that knowledge that gone the extra mile and while it maybe didn’t work out this time, you’ve still learned something. It isn’t only successes that can teach you something. The whole process is as much about the psychology of stepping out of your comfort zone and being willing to do that on a regular basis. If you commit to doing this, you’ll improve at a much faster rate and you’ll find that your solutions become more varied which can only be a good thing and will ultimately lead to you becoming a better designer.

Fortune favours the brave

All it takes a little bravery. Throw caution to the wind, take a few risks and go on, try a different font. You never know, you just might like it!

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