When I first started designing websites & UI, I was clueless as to what I was doing. So I started reading books and then I began researching to see what other more experienced designers were doing. I started mimicking their designs for practise, and to get the hang of what it was like to design for multiple screen resolutions.
This is the sort of thing I was designing around a year or so ago. It’s not a bad looking website but it is very generic looking and it lacks personality. If I was to compare this to what I’m designing now, I would say my skills & understanding as to what makes a good design has vastly improved.
For a while I was getting briefs off of my brother and anything I felt that looked like I could redesign on the web. I produced some mediocre things (before everything went flat)
(click the thumbnails to enlarge them)
These early designs are very lacking in many elements of what I have now. Experience, how to use design patterns, well thought out user journeys.
After a while I realised that a lot of weather applications where very dark and gloomy before iOS7 and I thought why don’t I make something that stands out a bit more. Which is what the below image is. Me thinking outside the box and beginning to think more about how my decisions will affect the outcome of my design and the usability.
Fast forward to a few months later I managed to nab my first internship as a designer and had full creative control sans the colour scheme. Working on a live project was a very good experience, it allowed me to asses what is plausible in designs and if it had any usability issues at all. Around November 2013 I wasworking with Zammer as a Product interface designer.
I had the chance to design the web application (every asset, avatars, illustrations, etc) which I enjoyed throughly as well as a concept for the mobile application. Which I think in the end the founders decided to go with a look similar to the web application.
Once my internship had ended with Zammer I moved onto improving my skills by taking part in contest on 99designs, this allowed me to work to a live brief and get feedback on my designs. Going down this road was an interesting path as I hadn’t done much of this previously, it caused me to work faster and take into account how I was arranging elements.
Doing these competitions helped me realise that I enjoyed making mobile applications, especially flat clean minimalist designs. Especially if I could create a short user journey with minimal click throughs for the end user whilst keeping everything simple enough.
I managed to land my first job as a web designer this year at a company called DevMac Ltd, they are a small agency who had plenty of work for me to get on with. I started designing more websites whilst I worked with them. The first few designs are very questionable and make me wonder what I was thinking. For example.
To designing websites like these. Albeit some of them I completed the homepage design for before leaving the company and remain incomplete. (Or picked up by a new designer)
To keep up my UI design skills I ended up freelancing to make sure I keep on top of my game.
I recently moved to a new agency, one that is a lot closer to home and has more breadth for me to grow my design skills. A lot of the work I do with them is email designs, website designs and a fair few banner creatives. I’ve had a few UI projects come along which I should hopefully be uploading to my portfolio in the near future.