New Year, New You: Here’s Your 2018 Designer’s Bucket List
As 2017 draws to an end and 2018 fast approaches, the design world is eagerly preparing to experience all that the new year has to offer. The beginning of the year is a great time to take stock of all you’ve learned and consider what other avenues you want to explore. Whether you’re interested in trying out brand new tools or you want to hone your skills by learning a new technique, start planning now to make sure you take full advantage of your time next year.
We talked to few designers to find out what they are most excited to explore in the new year and compiled a design bucket list for 2018. Use this list to plan out your own goals for the coming year.
Focus on UI/UX design.
A product is most effective when it has both a superior user experience and a superior user interface. Many designers become experts in one or the other, but learning the principles and strategies behind the successful implementation of both design paths makes the brand stronger and more cohesive — not to mention enhances your own skill set.
As you become more involved with UI/UX design, resources like Adobe XD can help you become comfortable with both design focuses so you can smoothly transition from an idea to a prototype that is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The program enables you to test and validate your ideas faster, so you quickly know what works and what doesn’t.
Start working smarter.
One of the main updates Adobe has been incorporating into all its platforms is enhanced organization, and you can take advantage of these program updates to make your job easier. Use the following to get organized in the new year, both in your career and your design practices.
- The new properties panel and expanded artboard capabilities in Adobe Illustrator allow you to better manage your projects and easily incorporate new design features.
- Motion Graphics Templates in Premiere Pro and After Effects simplify project production by allowing you to pre-program your most-used properties or use the 70 complimentary templates.
- The ease and accessibility of Adobe Capture allow you to design on the move and quickly create and save ideas.
- Use the Puppet Warp tool in Illustrator to transform your images without redesigning the object or ruining the proportions.
- Adobe Dimension CC (formerly Project Felix) lets you composite a 3D object into a 2D image and visualize how an image — like a logo — will look in a variety of display styles and situations, taking the guesswork out of the design process.
Simplify and spice up social media.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and it will continue to grow in 2018. Keep your social media strategy relevant next year by experimenting with different post styles and making sure your promotional materials are scalable across all social platforms. This will allow you to post more often and have more engaging content.
To catch your audience’s eye, look beyond classic static image posts. A personalized GIF or video will stand out on your customer’s newsfeed and will allow you to showcase your work in a new way.
You don’t have to be an expert to create engaging content. Tools like Adobe Spark can take away much of the guesswork. With Spark, you can access social media post templates that allow you to carry over a branded idea from Instagram to Twitter to Google+ in seconds. You can resize and adjust your projects as needed for each platform and easily create images and videos without having to have professional editing skills.
Tools like Adobe Spark make customizable templates available for simple, striking social media. Access this template here.
Dedicate some time to exploring the resources available for creating social media posts and figuring out how to enhance your strategy in the coming year.
Find a new creative outlet.
One of the keys to success is to never stop learning. Even if you haven’t completely mastered your specific design field, it’s a good idea to look beyond your normal responsibilities to diversify your skill set and keep yourself from getting bored.
Drone photography is one creative pursuit increasing in popularity, as it allows creative professionals to gain an entirely new perspective. Photographs taken from the air show the world in a way other forms of photography can’t capture, and they can add new dimensions to your work.
Drones not your thing? How about a dive into animation. Add life to your designs by using the paint and animation tools in Photoshop and Illustrator. Many design professionals are finding a resurgence in popularity of vintage cartoons and bright, bold color schemes. Making your work move allows you to present your ideas in an entirely new way, and it adds a new skill to your resume.
Push the borders of perception with virtual and augmented reality.
Adobe recently announced the inclusion of a immersive VR editing in Premiere Pro that allows you to edit 360 degree video and VR using a headset. You will be able to review your video in the format it will be displayed in and make edits without having to switch between a headset view and the computer screen. You can walk through your video and more easily decide what you like and what you want to change.
New features in After Effects also make working with augmented reality more intuitive. Create immersive motion graphics experiences by clicking “Create VR Environment,” then use “Extract Cubemap” to perform motion tracking and clean object removal. These new tools will enable you to seamlessly display your content in a fully immersive environment. You can bring the viewer into your world, and with enhanced editing abilities, you won’t have to worry that a flaw in the design will ruin the effect.
Familiarize yourself with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
New developments in artificial intelligence create exciting opportunities for designers and anyone working with technology. When AI accomplishes the more mundane tasks for working in a corporate environment, you have more time to dedicate to exploring your creative side. Start familiarizing yourself with this technology and consider using scripting to free yourself from monotonous processes. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- The Rise of Artificial Intelligence: How AI Will Affect UX Design
- AI Powers New Possibilities for Creative Ops
- Future of Work: More Than a Machine
- Will a Robot Take My Job?
With so many tools, techniques, and platforms out there for you to discover, you might not be able to cover everything in one year. Use these ideas as a starting point to craft your own 2018 bucket list, and use this newsletter to stay up to date on more design advances throughout the year.