My dive into Design
1st March, 2023
My introduction to design was when I needed to design my personal website. That was my first time using any design tool (Figma) and the first time designing. I didn't know what a navbar is or a CTA button or any of those terms! I designed based on the stuff I've seen before and my interpretation of it.
I attended a precollege fashion course for which I used Figma for all my assignments (creating moodboards, presentations, illustrations, posters and logos). This was a great way for me to explore the extensibility of the tool.
My primary interest at the time being fashion, I wanted to do something that would have real world impact in that field. The idea of building a community (inspired by dev.todev.to) seemed good because I hadn't seen anything like that for fashion on the internet. I decided to design a product that I needed, so naturally I had the drive to figure out and learn new things on the way.
That's where I went through hard stuff like UX, decision-making, colours, fonts, alignments, pixel-perfect designing, components, grouping, etc. It hit me then that there are loads of things to design and not just looks. Designing something as mammoth as a community made me understand the enormity of design. Now that I look back I find the design to be underwhelming, it being my first product design and the fact that it has no originality.
Then I went on to ideate and design web applications based on things I wanted and needed (making me the user so knowing the user the best). I designed another fashion web app that powers fashion designers to collaborate and work remotely on collaborations.
Exploring interaction design by myself, I learnt things by doing them.
I came across apps like Basecamp, Gumroad, Figma, Hey, Convertkit, Shopify, etc that piqued my interest in terms of design and the problems they solved. These apps changed my perspective on design. How did that happen? Jason Fried's (CEO of Basecamp) thoughts on design resonate with me, so I watched his video where he explains Hey (an email service). They solved almost every issue that I have faced with gmail. He doesn't explicitly talk about design but the product and the way it's design works was inspiring.
There on, every product or application I came across, it got me thinking about it's design. I noticed a pattern where I like products that had great UX and awesome workflows. That is what became my definition of good and bad design. Good design is about straightforward, seamless user experience. UI uplifts the User experience and workflows.
That point when I formed my definition of design is when I began designing much better User experiences and workflows. I now design web apps and SaaS products.
Since the beginning I have always designed based on things that I need which drove me to figure out things and that's how I ended up learning design. Insights and inferences where experienced firsthand. Designing what I need makes me have skin in the game.