You wanted to be a designer, and you started working on this, you either started studying or either just jumped in the job wagon because of some previous experience, we are all in the same pot. Design evolves and if you are a perfectionist you may (or may not which is unlikely) ask yourself if you do this right. Is difficult to measure yourself, and your work, it would be really useful to know how well you are doing. One thing which nobody told me when I started designing it was that there is nothing about your taste.
I started designing because of my taste, because I saw beautiful things everywhere, in media, in offline, in crafts, jobs, and interactions. But I repeat “There is nothing about your taste in design!” if you want to design forget about your taste, you can work, you can do your own private “poetry” but that will shadow your real skill of understanding people’s needs. What is also important is that your work, with your taste seems incomplete, it has huge potential but it simply does not live up for it. And that’s because is designed for you not for the rest of the people, taste is what you like, design is what everybody else needs.
There is nothing about your taste in design
Next time when you do some design work and you start wonder why it doesn’t sell, just remind yourself if it’s designed for people or just for you. When you are going to understand this barrier you will start doing great work, that type of work which you never knew you could do but you always had dreams of it without being aware. Is that simple, is like waking up from a nice dream and starting living it just in the following seconds.
Is good to be perfectionist?
If you are critic with your work, you can achieve more, and is natural to do so, that’s why design is so attractive for you too, because there are a lot of things at which you can be critical. Is going to take a while to get used to an acceptable level of criticism, and if you do criticize your work always think for every single thing which you don’t like and what you can do about it. One thing is clear, you will never have some work which will be perfect, but work which will be exceptional is fairly easy to achieve, is all about how you really see yourself.
Designers which are their no.1 fan in general they are bad designers, is nothing to be shamed about this, I have done it to, it used to be a time when I could stand next to my works and believe that nobody can do it better but me. Looking back to that, well that were shady times, and some designers tend to not live out of that stage at all, they feel perfectly fine there, doing work which nobody likes but them.
Be your no.1 Critic that’s a healthy mind for a designer, it pushes you to evolve, to analyze your work and to understand what mistakes you are doing and how you can simply do it better overall. Do your own heuristics and discover how you can touch your users hearts.
Ask for a professional opinion
Most of the new designers are afraid to ask for some professionals help, which is bad. I once asked a professional, it was just about a poster (I was extremely proud of it), he simply destroyed my soul, but with reason. He was the only one in that room who could tell me that I am shit and why, on my own language. And that’s constructive criticism, that was actually the time when I also realized that I am not the best and I have a long way until there. It was an amazing experience, but I didn’t found many other designers which simply didn’t ask for feedback ever. So if you think that you are doing good, ask somebody with your mind open and you may have a pleasant surprise.
Well clients can love or hate you, they can be soft or rock solid. One thing which I can tell to you is that your clients will like exactly the opposite of what you are expecting and is difficult to explain to them that is much more to this work than pretty shapes and colors. No matter what they will choose you can’t argue about it because they are paying. I don’t recommend to rely yourself and your work on feedback from the clients, in terms of design.
If they spread the word and ask for more work, be proud of yourself because they like you but if you want to become real better ask people that you are competing against, they will tell you basically everything which they hate about you and your work (quite valuable info).
Is important to constantly learn, if you miss knowledge you may simply not see that you are wrong. Read books, talk with other designers, understand your users, test your work do anything with the purpose of learning something out of it, nobody comes on this planet with all this data in their heads. Do your homework and experiments, it will come a day when you will say, that you were such a big fool for not seeing how wrong you could be.
And that’s going to be the day in which you will probably call some client or some friend saying sorry that you reacted bad when they gave you feedback. The main way to achieve knowledge is to work, plan for yourself that you will do a decent project every week, and the every other week use the knowledge that you learned in the previous projects. In as short as two months’ time I guarantee that you will simply have a different vision over your work and you will simply become better.
Is much to realize and start thinking that you may not do well in design, but there is nothing more valuable in that moment than patience, constructive criticism, some well written books and a good dose of ambition. Don’t judge yourself if everybody else says that you are wrong then most probably you are, but there can be a small chance that you may be right too, in the end is all about seeing design in different perspectives and trying to understand why people like or hate your work.