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I am a front-end web developer and I like design a lot, as matter of fact - lately, I am focusing more on UX/UI design to create top-notch products for my clients.

Coming from coding background, I find myself struggling a bit with design patterns and creativity for new concepts. Some clients come to me and simply just ask for a website without any idea of what they want or maybe just a reference to 1 or 2 sites. They provide me with only images and expect me to come up with a beautiful and functioning website. Although, I get inspirations from looking online and following a lot of designs articles but still, I lack the ability or struggle to come up with new concept and design on my own.

So my question is:

  • How can be creative for new concepts of designs
  • How do I learn to create unique designs
  • Is it hard to learn a bit of graphics just to put some effects to my designs

I am open to any ideas and suggestions, thanks a lot in advance.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Think of the Tango (the dance). You learn the moves (components of the dance) in a set sequence. When you know them well, you can make up your own sequences and so create a unique dance of your own.

In short, componentize. Learn the bits and pieces as others have done them. Things like color, typography, layouts, parallax scrolling, ajax effects, etc. Don't try to be unique -- you're not ready yet. Sure, your sites won't look all that original at first, but once you've mastered the individual tricks, you'll be able to combine them in unique ways, adapt them in ways other haven't thought of. And then people will say, "What an original design." You did the same thing with coding -- learn each component and then combine them in ways that create the result you're looking for. Same with anything.

Creativity is about taking raw materials and combining them to make something new. Your raw materials are all the components (methods) someone created before you came along. Just keep practicing.

So how do you become creative? By continually creating, even if it just means copying the components others have already created.

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Brilliant answer, thanks a lot for the way you expressed it :) –  Shina Jun 23 at 23:41

I know the feeling, even as an artist. when designing stuff to code, one can quickly become bogged down with technical concerns.

The trick is to sketch your design, on paper or a white board*. doing this removes all concern of pixels, measurements and other obstructions to the creative process.

When drawing, it is up to you how much you want to stress about how you are going to code it. Keeping later stages in mind when you design is important, since if you don't you might end up wasting allot of time coding a site that wasn't designed correctly.

For some people inspiration is the hardest part of art. I recommend that you look at other websites for inspiration. Also, you can research your clients. Researching your clients can give you valuable insight on what needs to happen for the users, which guides your layout, making design a bit easier.

* I recommend a white board because it is easy to get rich color like you would have on a website.

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I agree with this, I coming from a coding background its hard to learn to 'turn off the grid' and stop making everything look even. But even with graphic design you need a goal, just like programming. –  Daniel Jun 23 at 18:08

Have a rough Wireframe of what you want to make on a sheet of paper as that would help you alot in going through the design. Use some inspirational designs as a reference, they would help you getting to know the idea of what is in trend and how to go about it.

Once you are fine with some wire-frames, then comes the part of implementations. When it comes to InDesign and the usage for mostly PDF content, some knowledge of Vector Designs comes in quite very handy, since here you work with vector content and that way, you will keep the content zoom friendly and pixelation free.

Best would be to use Illustrator for making different objects that you would like to use in the document for special designs as InDesign doesn't allow that much control when it comes to designing, as you can choose the object and directly paste the content/object right into the InDesign document and keeps the object in its vector format.

If using images for covers and all, make sure that the resolution is quite very high so that the depth is there in image and chances of Pixelation would be minimized quite a lot. InDesign doesn't offer that much classy effects addition when it comes to adding special effects to Images, so there comes Photoshop to the aid.

For a multi-purpose use make sure that you use hyper-links to attach the click-friendly objects as that helps in improving the interactivity.

Last but not the least,

"Follow Boards and Run Wild Mate...!! That is how you improve the Designs a Lot. Cheers!! :)"

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