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The design field is the epitome of ‘change is constant’.

As a designer, you have to be dynamic, inspire, get inspired and be open to changing with the trends. Design thinking as a concept extracts the most out of a developing experience, while creating the best possible result for your target market.

That being said, no one ever implicated the process of being one of the most efficient. But when time is paramount, there are methods to speed up the process without sacrificing quality.

There are certain ways you can follow to improve your design thinking ability.

The below mentioned ideas will assist and boost your layout design abilities.

1. Study the Theoretical aspect

If you want to be an expert in a particular field, you have to gain some knowledge around the basics. Read basic, core theories and understand different aspects of designs like typography, layout, grids, colors, composition etc. This will help you move to the next step and gain more expertise.

2. Research on Trends

Trends change, designs change, and it’s very important to cope up with the changing trends. You need to follow some new development in the design world from sites like Dribbble, Behance, Abduzeedo, CreativeBloq and even Pinterest to stay abreast with the latest and coolest designs.

3. Learn from the Experts

If you want to be a great designer someday then you have to follow some great designers in this field. Just like you would follow leading fashion designers there are a number of online platforms to find some experienced designers who freely share their knowledge. This will help you get more familiar with the expert level design process.

4. Learn the Principles

Apart from the basic theory, there are many principles in the design field like color balance, contrast, emphasis, white space, proportion etc. that work together to create aesthetically pleasing designs and user experiences. Using these principles will help you modify your artwork to make it brilliant. Always go for a good advanced design course to get a deep understanding of these principles.

5. Increase your Observation power

Before making a good design, it is very important to be able to identify good design. Observe your surroundings and let unique designs catch your eye. It could be nature, buildings, paintings, packaging, food, or even television. It will help you differentiate between good design and bad design.

6. Get some help

It is always good to have an experienced mentor for any type of artwork. Because whenever we create our ‘piece of art’, there should be an expert who can criticize it constructively. If you get a good mentor you can get some serious, valuable guidance for your artwork.

7. Collect Feedback

Collecting feedback is very good for your design thinking ability. Positive feedback will always encourage you to design more and the negative feedback will help you improve your designs. Always take criticism constructively and work on your weaknesses.

8. Train yourself

After gaining a lot of knowledge, it’s time to implement and put it into practice. Start training yourself to create the result of your knowledge. Because it is always good to maintain the proper practice of anything you have learned.

9. Explore different styles

Once you are accustomed to trends, you should always try to be different and create your signature style. Try out different styles and artworks by crossing the boundaries of the expertise you have. It will give you an idea around the cross-cultural aspects of design.

10. Experiment with Tools

When you will get your hands on the tools to practice the artwork you are focusing on, you should try to experiment with them. You may fail at first but the cliché ‘practice makes perfect’ really works to gain some valuable knowledge from the failures… and that will create your masterpiece.

11. Do some Side Hustles

If you are learning design, then you should look out for some small projects through friends and family or freelance sites. This will give you an idea of real-world business tasks. It will help you understand the field in a better way move according to the demand of the industry.

12. Master Software

After knowing design theory you must try to be expert with your design software. It could be free raster software like Gimp (Photoshop alternative for raster designs), Krita / Inkscape (Illustrator / CorelDraw alternative for vectors), and Blender (Maya / Max alternative for 3D drawings). Because that is the place where you will make your art piece for your job. Practice, practice, practice… get to know as many tips and tricks as you can.

13. Keep up the practice

I hate to sound like a cracked record, but practice makes perfect. Make a schedule that will give you some time to practice every day. You can use the Pomodoro technique (not the pasta recipe) to break down your time between work, design practice and relaxation.

14. Recreate designs

We all have our favorite brands and designs. Trying to recreate them is a good practice drill. You can make a replica or modify them to make it unique by adding your ideas. Just make sure that you don’t share those design online to avoid any risk of plagiarism.

15. Research websites

In different websites, you will get a lot of design aspects like typography, composition and element placement. You have to try to see everything from the perspective of a designer. There is an unlimited ocean of design knowledge out there, it will help you to think more like a designer than your friends and colleagues.

16. Spark yourself with motivation

There is a certain need to always rekindle your desire to design from motivation. Sometimes we lose our motivation altogether when we fail. Focus on increasing the zeal in you to keep creating unique designs every day. You can follow some expert motivational talk for that to increase your interest.

17. Perfection is the key

Strive for perfection if you want to be the best at your job. When you pay attention to detail, that what makes your design stand out when compared to others. If you strive to deliver perfection, you will always be the first choice.

Never Ending Expansive Thoughts

Design thinking can’t be created in a single day. You have to be patient and keep honing your skills with these steps. The best way to improve the thinking skills is… you guessed it… Practice!

For starters research and study the topics listed above, then train your brain to see things differently with a new perspective each time.

Study eminent designers and their designing process. Learn and understand design principles, because the fact will always remain, that design is both, an art and a science.

Before your leave, Read: 

Why Instant Messaging Apps Shouldn’t Be Used For Design Collaboration