I have always been one of those types of people that want to keep on learning and trying to better myself, not only as a person, but as a designer also. So recently I have been thinking a lot about what I do to attempt to be a better designer and while thinking it over, I came up with the 5 things that I do on a semi regular basis to simply try to be better at what I do.
1. Read…A LOT!
Thankfully I like to read, and that has come in handy. I have found that reading is one of my favorite ways to learn more about things. When it comes to design there are plenty of resources out there to read to help keep up on the latest ideas. Some of my favorites are as follows: Layers Magazine, Computer Arts and .net magazine
2. Challenge yourself.
I found another great way for me to learn some thing new is to force my self to just simply do it. Find some thing new whether it is a new idea, a new technique or simply just some thing new and try it. You never know how it will come out or what you will get out of it.
3. Talk to others in your field.
Technology has really improved the way we communicate. With so many advances like Twitter, Facebook and other social media programs it has become exceptionally simple to find other people to talk to in your field. (Feel free to send me a message on twitter @mrrichardson)
4. Learn by teaching.
Recently I found that I have two relatives that have been training to become designers and I did not realize it. Since than we have talked a lot about various design subjects and it has helped all three of us learn more. If you are not lucky enough to have people close to you that want to learn try writing a tutorial.
5. Find time to work on personal projects.
From time to time I have found my self doing the same thing over and over again for clients. Since they are paying me for what they want the way they want it it leaves me a less of a choice to change the way their projects should look. So when I work on my own personal projects I find my self moving outside my comfort zone and trying to push the envelope more an more. Find time to work on your own projects, sketch, draw, simply do more!