How designers can deal with downtime?
If you’re after more web design tips, then don’t miss our roundup of the best web design tools available. Let’s face it, we spend most of our working lives being super-busy, and complaining about it to anyone who’ll listen.
For this post, we asked six web designers for their suggestions. And while they were all at pains to stress that downtime is a rarity for them and their studios, they did come up with some useful tips that any web designer or developer can learn from.
1. Improve your processes
Understanding information, rather than just relaying it, is very different, but it’s the key to conveying trust with both clients and developers.
As digital director, really understanding a developer’s point of view and having a good knowledge of technologies and build processes is essential.
He adds. “I find YouTube and Udemy tutorials are really useful for this.
2. Learn a new skill
LinkedIn and Adobe are two drivers of personal development and have extended their services to this end during lockdown.
“Downtime can present an opportunity to upskill,” says Benoit Soucaret, creative director, experience design at LiveArea. The former have made 16 learning courses free of charge, while the latter has extended temporary ‘at-home’ licenses to educational and institutional customers of its Creative Cloud apps.
3. Host a hackathon
At ShopTalk, we have an internal initiative called ‘Shop, Let’s Make it’ — a quarterly design-hackathon where the team get to apply their creative skills to their own ideas, and ShopTalk invest in helping to make these happen, explains director and co-founder Paul Ferry.
Keeping the creative skills honed, building commercial savvy, and allowing everyone’s cool ideas to come to life. Outside of the hackathon we continue to build and grow on these projects, and that’s how we fill that downtime.
4. Read a good book
“When a project ends, I take the opportunity to meditate my mind and desktop,” says Bryony Sutton UX and UI designer at Banc. I’ll organise these by type and then version, so I can access them if needs be, post-launch. Throughout web builds, my desktop can start to look a bit scattered with files and documents.”
5. Test your skills with a side project
If the downtime is short, i.e. less than a day, then we’ll use this time to explore new UX trends or tidy up our code library to make future projects more efficient.
Downtime is a great opportunity to work on something you’ve been needing or wanting to do for a while,” says Melin Edomwonyi, director of product for Illustrate Digital.
6. Support your juniors
As well as scheduled research and development for improving our own services and innovations to benefit our clients.
Our developers focus on continuous learning as a principle,” says Priscilla Coates, managing director at Magma Digital. “So when they’re between projects, they engage in targeted supervision opportunities to support more junior developers more closely.