Design Reader's Digest

Ways to Develop your Eye for Good Design

It is essential to develop a keen eye for design to improve your design skills. You’ll be able to see a design and understand why it works or doesn’t, which will help you better integrate those insights into your work.

A keen eye for design can help you to generate new ideas for your work. When designing your projects, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. This is an important skill and one that should be cultivated. Here are five ways you can improve your design skills for 2021.

1. Find inspiration from outside your niche
It makes sense to take inspiration from other websites when designing a website. This is true. It is also logical to seek inspiration from other sources.

You might also look at magazine layouts to get ideas for layouts or paintings to help you choose a color scheme. For ideas on layering elements, look at how different textures interact with each other or at the shapes of furniture.

You will be able to see designs that are not in your niche and appreciate them without having to conform to any preconceived notions about what a design should look like.

2. Learn the design principles
The principles of design were established in the late 19th-century and were more often used in practice during the 20th century. Although it is possible to design great designs without knowing the principles, you will find that good designs tend to follow these principles.

Principles of design draw on the behavioral psychology of users to affect how they interact with your design. These principles can impact what users consider most important, the elements they interact with first, and whether they are more likely to purchase.

Although mastering design principles takes practice and time, it is possible to quickly grasp the basics of the concepts. After you have mastered the principles, it’s time to learn how they are used in different types of design.

3. Other designs can be broken down
Spending time analyzing the designs of others is one of the best ways you can develop your eye for design. Take a moment to look at the design of a website that you like. What about the color scheme? Interaction design? The typography The CSS will give you more details about how they relate to each other.

It is the same for designs that you don’t like. What is it that you dislike about them? Why do you hate them? Are there any flaws (bad typography, clashing colors, etc.)? Is it a matter of taste or typography? It is important to understand why you like or don’t like a particular design to develop your style and taste.

Look for designs by experts in your field. What makes them different from the average creative? What is it about their designs that sets them apart? Compare their work from the beginning to what they did after gaining more experience. Analyze the changes and how they improved their work.

4. Attention to the finer details
What is the difference between a great design and a bad one? Details are the devil.

Pay attention to details when you examine the work of other designers. A simple thing as a rounded corner or a larger font can make a big difference in how polished a design looks.

You can sharpen your eye for design if you pay attention to details and not only the appearance of the designs. These details can make a design truly stand out.

5. Use a design lens to observe everything around you.
There are many designs in the world, both intended and unintentional. Pay attention to everything. When you go on errands, take a close look at all the packaging, signage, and other items you come across. Try to discern the reasons behind why things are designed as they are.

Pay attention to the things that aren’t “designed”, especially things found in nature. You can see the design of the leaf, raindrop pattern, and snowflake shapes as ways to sharpen your eyes to see the world around us through a design lens.

Bonus Tip: Apply what you see.

If you don’t put the things you see into practice, you can’t have an eye for design. You can improve your eye by practicing what you see.

Even simple exercises such as recreating a complete design and not looking at any CSS or other codes can help you understand how it works. It is better to understand the mechanics of design than just observe. This understanding will help you become a better designer.

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