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What makes a good designer?

What makes a good designer?

Lot’s of newbies ask me “What makes a pro designer?”. Well, let’s be truthful to ourselves, in order to become a professional designer one needs time, patience and lots (and I mean LOTS) of practice. It takes a lot of learning from your own mistakes and overcoming all the obstacles on the way to professional success.  Everyone begins with “bad” works and it’s more normal than you think. It’s the critics that force us to work and improve.  Of course, some of us give up on their way towards design career.  In such a tough competition, only the fittest survives.

Now, in order to become a super qualified designer, you’ll need to work your ass off. Trust me, it won’t be easy.

You will have to start with gaining experience! Tons and tons of completed tasks and projects. If you want to become a good specialist – you will need at least 10K hours of work experience (approximately 3 to 4 years). You can question and debate this statement as much as you want. However, the main point is “Becoming a pro required tough work and dedication”. Some will succeed much faster, but it only means they have worked twice as much.  Even prodigies do not get it easy.

Despite that, even those 10K won’t make you good in every design sphere. Moreover, experience won’t save you in an unknown situation, as it’s limited by what you have previously come through. Is it even worth mentioning that new tasks and requirements pop out almost every day? Develop your professional flexibility and adaptiveness to processes. This way it’s be easier to find your true calling.


Be aware of your weaknesses! No one can be good at everything, but understanding your mistakes is improving. Knowing your weak points makes you push harder, dig deeper and learn faster. Don’t be sad over redoing projects – be curious about how to correct them! Receiving and taking in critics lets you know whether you’re moving in the right direction. You will be able to analyze what skills you have and what you lack by receiving an assessment of your work.

Of course, at the beginning, it’s better to hear out opinions of your teachers at courses or design schools than ask someone you know or work with. You will need a weighed down, clear and authorized opinion you can trust. Yes, we know that some of us cannon stand being criticized, but that’s a part of becoming a professional. Let people freely speak their mind as it will only let you better your work.


It is necessary to put all of you into every single project!
Even a very good project gets bad if it’s just like to every other one. Instead of standing out – it blends in. Look at Dribble or Behance: how many designers post similar works at these platforms? How many works are similar to each other?  Yes, a whole damn lot!

But where do you get the inspiration and creativity? Experienced designers have already worked out their own answer for that. The first step to creating a project would be “Fishing for ideas”.

At this stage, most of us end up with awful sketches we dismiss. It continues again and again before you find the solution, which comes abruptly.

Numerous wonderful designs were inspired by simple everyday things. Ideas appear spontaneously like during an evening stroll or grocery shopping.  Just how many sketches were made on a napkin in a diner café and how difficult it is sometimes to work at the office?


To sum up:

Becoming the best in not easy – it’s a very long and complicated process. Here are a few simple rules you should follow to move forward:

1.If you feel like you work too much – work a bit more. Each resolved issue gives is an important experience.

2.Be criticized and learn how to take it. Be attentive to comments about your work. This will only benefit you and your future projects. You may consider a project a successful one, but there are always consumers whose opinions matter more.

3.Work on your good points. It’s easier to find a job in a narrow field.

4.Every mistake is an opportunity to avoid taking the same one in the future.

5.Keep on going and polishing your skills – that will make you a pro!

All-in-all, hard work pays off. Believe in yourself!

Posted on August 17, 2016

Category: General

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