Side Projects for Designers

over 5 years ago from , Freelance Web Designer

What are some good side projects ideas for designers that have less or no programming required?

If there is a programming task, how do you find like-minded developers for the same?


  • Jan ZhengJan Zheng, over 5 years ago

    working on a homelessness and activist resource, and nonprofit guide in Atlanta. it's cool to make stuff with impact

    18 points
  • Clay MacTavishClay MacTavish, over 5 years ago


    11 points
  • Frédéric AudetFrédéric Audet, over 5 years ago

    My side projects are analog. I like to build things in wood.

    9 points
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, over 5 years ago

    Some quick ideas:

    • Start a YouTube channel
    • Make stuff and share it
    • Write / Blog / Vlog
    • Design a "series" of something
    • Maybe get into calligraphy?
    • Help a nonprofit
    6 points
  • Ken Em, over 5 years ago

    Designing requires programming?

    3 points
  • Ismael Branco, over 5 years ago

    work in something related to your personal interests, something if it's sports, or music, or food, or whatever you find interesting in your life!

    2 points
  • Matt WillettMatt Willett, over 5 years ago

    Look into some of your personal interests first. There are plenty of local charities, non-profits, and other organizations that most likely are seeking out help.

    For example, I'm very interested in helping those with PTSD and found a non-profit in my area that helps through counseling, peer discussion, and writing therapy. Much of it was design, but I'm sure there are organizations out there that need a mix of different skills.

    A few months ago Raffaello Sanzio posted a link to Design Gigs for Good, a project put together by Mollie Ruskin and Sarah Fathallah; it's DEFINITELY worth a look regularly to see whats available and if there are remote (or local) positions available. It runs the gamut from internships and contracts to full time employment. So there's always a good mix of things there to peruse.

    Hope it helps!

    1 point
  • Kurt Aaron, over 4 years ago

    Visiting https://www.FindASideProject.com will help.

    0 points
  • Sagi ShrieberSagi Shrieber, over 5 years ago

    You can always launch a blog or a podcast. I wrote about my side project stories here: http://hackingui.com/product-hacking/side-projects/

    0 points
  • Rishi MohanRishi Mohan, over 5 years ago

    I usually work on something that I would want to use. So whenever I get some idea that I think should be out there, the first thing I do is add it the list so I don't forget it.

    For example, I like Safari's new tab page in which it shows bookmarks in grid, I wanted to have something like that on Chrome. So I wrote a new tab page extension for Chrome which lists bookmarks in a minimal UI.

    After that I have worked on Dark mode for Quora. I read on Quora a lot and their design is just too uneasy and bright for eyes, so I wrote another Chrome extension to override the CSS and make the UI dark and easy on the eyes. Since this is personal use, I didn't release it. Also it needs more work. This is how it looks.

    Right now, I'm working on my personal website.

    0 points
  • Sander Volbeda, over 5 years ago

    Got so many ideas that I can't work on them all besides my full-time job and blog. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram if you would like to do a side project together.

    0 points
  • Luke MurphyLuke Murphy, over 5 years ago

    Some stuff I've done in the past: - Creating prints and selling them in local shops - Designing gig posters for local promoters - Starting a physical product (I run Wax & Stamp. Was a hell of a lot easier than I thought...)

    Those are the design related things, although I find side projects that tap into your passions are super good for flexing your creative muscles. I've had bands, produced and directed theatre, ran a club night and loads of other stuff as side projects. Anything to help keep the juices flowing

    0 points
  • Navin Kulkarni, over 5 years ago

    The way you talk about and present your idea will attract the right developers. Also, you can yourself pitch to developers you like and convince them about the benefits of doing this side project. Putting together a good team is tough but fruitful if you do it right :)

    0 points
  • Martin LeBlancMartin LeBlanc, over 5 years ago

    Writing blog posts about whatever topic you want to learn.

    0 points
  • Ivan MirIvan Mir, over 5 years ago

    Nowadays there are many plug-n-play tools like Wordpress plugins or Zapier that allow building things without code. I think you can get some ideas just by researching what these tools can do.

    0 points
  • David SimpsonDavid Simpson, over 5 years ago

    Look for places you can volunteer to make an impact, check out http://catchafire.org. We are not ready yet but will be looking for volunteers for our non-profit, Design Mentors at http://designmentors.org pretty soon

    0 points
  • imran parvezimran parvez, over 5 years ago
    1. UI kits for different platforms (although not a big fan of them)
    2. Sketch plugins (programming would be required)
    3. Illustrations packs and Icon packs
    4. Create how to guides for other designers
    0 points