Be nice. Or else.
Designer & Developer at Union of Brunel Students Joined almost 3 years ago via an invitation from Vincenzo P.
What a wonderful story, honestly loved the way you can use modern day technology to assist small businesses. Creating easy solutions to problems.
I am on the same boat as you if I'm honest, this might sound crazy but I think coding a website is a lot more quicker than using these types of services
Because..I did it – I kid! I've never had the chance to do something like this so I thought I'd share it :)
I have a masters degree in Digital Design and Branding which I got exposed to Design Thinking heavily in solving digital problems, personally I can tell you a masters degree will only benefit you at high end companies like Google and Microsoft but end of the day its all about the experience that you have on your CV/Resume. I managed to complete my masters this year and prior to that I was doing an undergrad degree in Multimedia Computing and got a first class (not sure how the american grading system works but in the UK its an A*).
If you want to do a masters degree I say go for it but having experience is more beneficial in the design industry and you have electronics engineering as your background so you could most surely get into product/industrial design as a field.
Note: I'm 24/5 so my life is starting with the design/development industry - currently working as a digital design developer at Brunel Union.
Love your website dude!!
I am like you I also use my macbook pro as my main machine to do my work and I also use my windows machine to do other stuff like rendering. I have been using windows 10 now since the update and I have to say it is actually really good, I havent really touched my macbook for work. Recommended!
I have this problem as well, skipping stages sometimes I skip sketching and wireframming to straight visual design.
My design/user research consists of conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups depending on the project of course for the target user.
Once results have been collected I gather all common responses and group them to include within my personas for the motivations/goals/frustrations etc. I personally like to keep my personas neat and tidy so stakeholders/clients (and supervisor since I am studying my masters) can understand without me explaining what is what.
These days I am thinking to combine my sitemaps with user journeys to speed up the process, maybe my workflow will be more efficient like this? Not sure but I will try for my next project. I always use sticky notes to start off before heading over to illustrator and designing it visually.
With sketching things on paper I usually use templates from dribbble that I can print out and start sketching, despite the use of paper and ink personally I feel much more connected on solving a problem using this method since I am away from the computer.
Wireframming sometimes changes depends on time and productivity.
Visual design is of course what you already know..
Most people I know prefer coding when it comes to prototyping but personally I do feel that is time consuming depending on your skill. I use Invision and Marvel (its free and perfect since I am a student). Quick and easy clickable prototypes really gives more of a feel to user testing and much better results as to opposed to things like "paper prototyping".
This one is nice, I'm reading it for my Masters course Designing Brand Identity – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Designing-Brand-Identity-Essential-Branding/dp/1118099206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416898454&sr=8-1&keywords=designing+brand+identity