Ask DN: A developer wanting to progress in visual design

6 years ago from Ben Howdle, Freelance Developer & Designer

  • Ben S, 6 years ago

    As a former developer who now heads up a design team, my advice would be to pick out the elements of design that interest you and that you feel you have a good grasp of, and start from there. For me it was typography. There is something specifically systematic about type and how it is arranged on screen. From here I explored vertical rhythm and grids and developed an understanding of hierarchy and building pages. I still work mainly in UX and wireframes, and specialise in web applications - this being an area where a more systematic style is beneficial - but I can stretch myself if need be.

    I found the hardest part of being a designer is taking critique - as a programmer something works or it doesn't, but as a designer everything is more subjective. It's a skill that is taught as part of a design education but coming into the industry without a formal background made learning to take critique on the job and explain my reasoning especially challenging.

    1 point