How to Take Your Creative Design Skills to the Next Level

If you’ve been deep in your studies for your degree in computer information systems, then there’s no doubt you’ve been busy. Once your online CIS degree program comes close to ending though, it’s time to start thinking about the next step. This may be the perfect time for you to take your creative design skills to the next level and help you to land that perfect job fresh out of school.

Consistent Practice

The thing with design is that it is a creative skill and it’s the kind of skill that improves as you practice. Dedicating even just a bit of time to designing each and every day will go a long way in helping you reach the next level. You don’t have to look at it as “homework”. Instead, look at it as a creative outlet that you can use each and every day.

You Can Always Learn More

This tip isn’t just something you can do; it’s also a way of thinking. It’s important to understand that where design is concerned you can always learn more, new techniques, and improve no matter how many years you’ve been doing it. This also means it’s important to take active steps to ensure the learning process never ends. You may want to sign up for some design classes, read a book, watch a podcast, or just chat with others in the design field.

The more you learn, and the more open your mind is to learning, the better your designs will be. And remember that design trends change as often as fashion, so the more reading and learning you do, the more up to date with the industry you’ll be.

Identify Good Design in Everyday Life

Following on from the point above, it’s a good idea to try and identify good design in everyday life. This is something that comes with experience, but before long you will be able to pick out and truly understand what makes a good one and likewise, what makes a design bad.

When on the train to work, or when taking a coffee during your lunch hour, browse the portfolios of some leading designers and experienced professionals. Focus on specific design elements such as colors, logos, and layouts and see which ones you think work best and why. Think about why the designer made the decisions that they did and whether they worked or could have been more effective.

This isn’t something you will be good at straight away, but if you take the time to do it on a regular basis you will soon improve your skills.

Ask for Feedback

This tip can be a bit scary for some people, especially if you’re just starting out. Asking for feedback opens you up to criticism, but this should be seen as a helpful thing not a negative thing. How can you improve if you don’t know what needs improving? Use this feedback and apply it to future designs, making them stronger.

Start Following Other Designers

Thanks to social networks it’s really easy to find other designers whose style you like, and then follow them. You can look to them as inspiration, motivation, and even a source of learning. Follow them on places like Twitter and Instagram.

There are also a number of design forums that exist where you can take part in sharing ideas, thoughts, and advice.

Carry a Sketchbook with You

As a designer, you never quite know when the moment will strike you that you feel like creating a design. This means it’s wise to carry a small sketchbook with you so you can get your ideas out as they occur to you.

Sketching can also help you to improve your style. You’ll likely already know that clients all prefer different things. Some may be a fan of minimalism, while others will prefer bright colors. However, if you can choose a niche and perfect it, you’ll soon become known for it in your industry. The more you sketch, the bigger a portfolio you’ll have, and the better you’ll become. Think about your personal style as a trademark – your aim is for people to see your work and recognize that you were the creator.

The two best words to remember are patience and practice, as both apply to those who are looking to improve their design skills. It’s an area where there is always room for improvement and there are always different ways you can approach a project or assignment. This is part of the creative aspect of design, so embracing it will certainly help you.

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