Design and confidence

I’ve started my career on the graphic design 🎨 side of life. Later gradually morphed into user interface design which led me to learn to program just so I could control the entire process and create things on my own.

Fast forward a few years and coding became the project stage that excited me the most. My design explorations were reduced to hand-drawn sketches, translated into bare minimum digital versions enough to start putting it all together with code. This was nearly 20 years ago and I rarely wandered off this track since. 🚃

With a few exceptions here and there, where I took more UX heavy roles, most of my career has been on the development side. So every time I start a new side project, it’s at the design stage where I procrastinate the most 😱. It’s just a hard task for me. Causes a lot of friction at least until I start, then I enjoy it. Until I stop for a day or two and struggle again to pick up the pace.

Now, what causes this friction? Insecurity, I guess. I’m comfortable with development and have plenty of tools 👨‍💻 at my disposal, but when it comes to design my theoretical tools are all pretty much hammers. 🔨🔨🔨

So I turn to others 👨‍🎨🖼. Designers that I admire and look at what they’ve done recently. If I find something I like, I try to understand why does it pleases me, what problems does it solve and take notes that might trigger new ideas. This process is then repeated ad eternum or until I can barely keep my eyes open. Most often, this is what happens. Less often, I turn to bubble gum design and go on Dribbble to find what’s trendy and repeated by every other designer in the hopes of getting hired by some big company that notices their redesign. Which, in the end, helps me normalise visual trends that might feed my design work. 🤷‍♂️

All this to say, I’m not a designer (maybe a developer with a design background?), and any project that requires me to use my design skills, makes me very uncomfortable. 😬

Also, I’ve reviewed the previous UX work and it needed some love. Now it feels better as it does the updated UI design I’m currently working on. Yeah, this is what I really meant to say with this update. Guess it derailed a little. 😅

See you soon. 👋