TheDesignProjectby Christian Vizcarra
©TheDesignProject 2018

How to become a better designer?

A challenge to improve your product design skills by solving problems in your daily life.

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Every ideastarts with a need

Earlier this year (January 2018). I started to think about how I could improve my design skills and attract more customers. I wanted to start designing some ideas that for a long time I had only on paper and stored on my cell phone, I decided to look for some challenge, something that makes more sense with what I thought. I saw that many designers (especially in dribbble) made a daily user interface, I really liked the idea, but the problem was that the result was just something nice and did not solve any problem.

I didn't want to just draw something nice; I wanted to create real solutions to real problems, develop designs that make sense and inspire others to come up with more ideas. And so I settled on making my own personal challenge with the goal of not only improving and showing off my design skills, but also improving my ability to understand, observe and solve problems faster.

After several weeks of sticking to this challenge, I learned a lot

Start with asking why

You will start seeing things differently and coming up with more effective ways of achieving goals.

Your ideas will have more value

By looking at problems from a different perspective, your ideas will be fresher and more valuable.

Design solutions with love

Only when you experience a problem yourself do you understand the frustration of the users and resolve to end it.

Share and show your work

As designers, we are often afraid of showing work that’s not finished or doesn’t look perfect. You will learn to accept feedback and learn from it.

Why did I decide to share this?

Today we all seek to improve our skills. I know of many challenges that designers take with the aim of improve their aesthetic skills, but I’m only aware of a few that focus on what I believe should be the real goal: learning how to stop, listen and understand problems, break them down and devise solutions.

Understanding the problem means understanding why we are here and whom we want to help. It means realizing what are the weak points are, in what ways our solution is not as intuitive and how our users actually go about solving their problems. To understand the context is to know how, where, when, under what circumstances and for what reason the the users do what they do; it means understanding the external factors affecting the user. With this challenge I set out to solve my day to day problems and force myself to stop and think how design can really help.

Are you ready? Let’s go!!

The challenge lasts 30 days. On each of those days you will have to create a solution to any problem you yourself are facing and show the result to the community.

Find your problem

It has to be a problem that’s personally affecting or affected you, like finding your keys, calling a taxi or even remembering something. Open your eyes, look around you carefully and pay close attention to your surroundings.

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1. Find your problem

It has to be a problem that’s personally affecting or affected you, like finding your keys, calling a taxi or even remembering something. Open your eyes, look around you carefully and pay close attention to your surroundings.

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Think about the solution

It's time to look for solutions. What can you do to solve these problems? It's time to think out of the box, grab your notebook and start writing down all the ideas that come to mind.

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2. Think about the solution

It's time to look for solutions. What can you do to solve these problems? It's time to think out of the box, grab your notebook and start writing down all the ideas that come to mind.

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Design your proposal

How can design help solve your problem? It's time to think about features and functionality, and then start designing. Don’t forget to always ask yourself: Would I actually use this?

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3. Design your proposal

How can design help solve your problem? It's time to think about features and functionality, and then start designing. Don’t forget to always ask yourself: Would I actually use this?

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Share your work

Share your design on instagram or dribbble with the hashtag #thedesignproject Remember to explain what the problem was, how you came up with the solution and how the design achieves it. Find out what people have to say about it.

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4. Share your work

Share your design on instagram or dribbble with the hashtag #thedesignproject Remember to explain what the problem was, how you came up with the solution and how the design achieves it. Find out what people have to say about it.

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