Come on, the fastest way to learn? Let’s rephrase the sentence; what’s the better way to learn visual design? And here goes the answer. We assume that visual design is easy. That’s the main problem. “Oh, all you need to do is add these buttons and colors and fonts and you’re done.” “Oh, Photoshop (And other design software) are so easy to learn I can pick it up in a day”. Yes, we have all heard this. So let’s break those quotes down.
Visual design is not about designing few screens with jazzy colors, fonts and buttons and icons and what not. There is a lot of thought involved when comes to designing the UI for a solution. Bringing a solution to life is no joke. You need to carefully plan and think through to come up with a neat UI. Also, visual design is the most iterative stage of the UX Design process, so be prepared to face the heat of clients when it comes to this stage. Patience is key when it comes to visual design. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when getting started with Visual Design:
- The key to learning visual design is practice, loads of practice. Keep on designing screens, understand the mistakes you made and keep repeating till you can.
- Redesign apps, websites; repair the design flaws in them, not just blindly redesign the screens.
- Come up with fictitious client briefs and solutions and come up with the UI. It is useful at this stage that you have a mentor; somebody with experience in the field to guide you on the best practices for UI.
- Also, keep yourself updated with visual design guidelines and be on the lookout for the latest trends in design. It’s always better to understand the rules and guidelines and then start breaking them.
- Familiarize yourself with the tools for design. Learning a tool is not a cakewalk, but it becomes one with continuous practice; you do not become a pro in just a day or a week too. Also don’t just stick to one tool; learn multiple tools for better understanding of how designing works in each of them.
- For regular practice you can sign up for the DailyUI challenge – A challenge for 100 days where you design for a prompt you receive each day. This is a good way to practice small visuals and getting quick with thinking and designing. You can also share your screens with your peers on platforms like Dribbble and receive valuable feedback and critique for your design.
- Feedback and criticism will make you a better visual designer. Listen to what clients, mentors, bosses, creative heads tells you; it’s all valuable advice (even if some of it can be useless or not make sense). Take them all in your stride towards learning and designing better.