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Founder, You Know Who Joined about 5 years ago
Not on your nelly.
Have you ever used the trackpad of an Apple laptop in a circular motion, expecting magic to happen?
Love Sarah x
It's never too late. Never. Well done for getting all those languages under your belt whilst holding down a job in a totally different industry.
You'll find this industry has pockets of people who have been around and been vocal, for a very long time. Those people tend to be vocal about helping other people and giving back to the industry. I count myself as one of those people. It's less about talent, and more about visibility and history.
At a certain level, everyone has the same skills, it's just some people may be better at teaching those skills (I consider myself in that boat) than others. Dribbble currently looks like a cookie cutter of design. To my mind, you can no longer tell one designer from another like you used to be able to.
Back in the day, you could look at a piece of work and instantly know whether it belonged to Tim Van Damme or Elliot Jay Stocks; the web was full of much more personality in its design, than it seems to now. Now, we're much more utilitarian about the way we approach design, so the doors are wide open to anyone.
I know it can seem daunting, but just put yourself out there. Blog your experiences, ask questions to the right people, encourage newbies. In my experience, there's nothing the web industry likes more than helping people who are genuinely interested in the betterment of this profession, and you Ben, sound like one of such individuals.
Bravo Sir, bravo.
I've downed tools for the following reasons before:
• It was something I wouldn't feel comfortable putting my name to. • It encouraged something in an industry I personally feel anger towards, like animal cruelty. • It would set a bad example going forward for our industry as a whole. i.e. doing a website for £50 with a promise of new work in the future, or contributing to spec work, no matter what the "prize".
In general, people who wish to implement dark patterns onto their sites, and I, do not blend well together. I'm the type of person to call it out and tell them, rather than just delete the email request or pretend it didn't happen. I've said goodbye to thousands of pounds over the years, simply because I couldn't stand by what they were trying to do. Other people will not have the same morals as you though; trying not to feel hurt by this is the key.
I always educate though. Always. The same as I always educate on spec work. We need to. We're a relatively small industry - we're all doing each other a favour by educating someone, even if it's just a sentence.
You're very kind to say I'm inspiring. That's always so nice to hear. I had some inspiring mentors when I started in this industry, it's nice to know have that flame for a little bit.
It's great that you want to make things better and easier to use. The starting place for all of this is always data.
It's why I'm not a great fan of unsolicited re-designs of popular networks. Some things yes, are just poorly designed or poor user experiences, others have damn good cases as to why they are designed a certain way, the mistake some people make is simply thinking "but I wouldn't have done it like that" or "I wouldn't use it this way". You may not be 90% of their user base who does.
There is a lot to learn with UI design, but picking a speciality will always help. The "flat" (still makes me feel a bit sick in my stomach using that term) design trend has actually made things a whole lot easier, as it's more like moving blocks of colour and content rather than these very design-heavy websites we once had "back in my day".
I'd start with deciding whether you want to specialise in a platform like Android or iOS, or whether you want to stick with the web to begin with and expand outwards.
Personally, I love reading case studies on other studio websites. I love reading the "why" behind a design rather than the design itself. Everyone can make things look pretty nowadays, few can tell you why. Make that your thing.
Unfortunately, this is one of those things that you just have to keep doing. There is no shortcut. Your design eye needs to be trained and this can only happen with time and lots of genuine interest in the world around you. Notice typography on everything, notice composition. It all translates.
It's why us designers look back on our work from last year or the year before and cringe at various parts. Your design eye is constantly evolving and you can only train it by doing design work over and over again, in many different genres and platforms.
Well done on doing everything off your own back though. Treehouse is a great resource for these things.
I have a course coming out on how to use Sketch for UI design, you might like that? Tutorial wise, I love the stuff Meng is doing on designcode.io.
I don't actually. I find inspiration in random things I see on Pinterest or just out walking my dog. I love the fashion industry but actually, there's only one store that I really get my clothes from and that's Free People. It entirely "fits" with who I am, and everything is so feminine but comfortable.
Their website is a great place of inspiration but mainly because they're in a passive sales environment. Their imagery is fantastic and the frequency of updates inspire me to get down to work. Everything they produce is just beautiful.
So in answer to your question, I guess, yes - a bit, but I only tend to look at one brand in that arena because they interest me. As for hair, nail etc. I tend to use those inspiration pots for my hair businesses.
I have a few. The one that springs to mind was not being honest with a client about the fact my office was in my house. In the initial meeting I had to upsell myself against a couple of local agencies who had fancy premises. I knew they were the types of clients who needed to be woo'd by this, so I talked about my office with my head held high (I had just moved out of my actual office–working with mainly USA clients made my expensive office obsolete).
I remember working and then hearing a large car pull up on the driveway. I was feeling particularly poorly that day and suddenly saw it was the aforementioned client and his son. I jumped under my desk, neatly pulling my chair in, giving myself an inch of room. I could see through the cracks that they were pushing their hands up against the lounge window and talking to each other, very confused about my "office".
They eventually pulled away after dropping the cheque for the deposit through my letterbox.
Suffice to say, I didn't lie about my "home office" situation after that. It didn't crop up again though, as my office in my new house is one I would happily (and have) invited clients to.
My other mistake, although not really my mistake, was not educating a client that websites didn't automatically translate themselves depending on where you were in the world. The client rang me up (steaming angry) from France, asking why, when she accessed her website from the hotel computer, her website was in English.
That was one of my favourite (but absolutely bizarre) telephone calls, ever.
Did I put myself out there a lot? I feel like I would go waves of sometimes blogging a lot and updating my social channels, to long periods of silence. This was, and probably still is, more reflective of some of what I've been dealing with the last few years, than anything else.
I draw the line sharply with anything too personal. I don't talk about my struggles with anxiety or depression a lot on social media, because it still feels like a weakness to admit it openly. I'm trying to change this, and I will get there with being a bit more open around it. I'm still trying to find that balance of "how much before you start putting off people who might want to work with you?" - there is a line to be drawn there, but there's also this thing called "just being human". It's a tough balance to deal with online.
As for social channels, I won't join anything that allows people to ask you questions anonymously, that's about it.
RE: Posts - all of my posts live on my blog (http://www.sazzy.co.uk) however I sometimes post the same posts to Medium if I feel they would benefit a wider audience than just the web industry.
I'm not speaking in the UK anytime soon, I have turned down a lot as I was already speaking at many of the An Event Apart conferences this year.
Business endeavours after Blushbar? Absolutely. They are already in the works.
Telling trolls on the interwebs my age? Why not? It's nothing to be ashamed of.
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