The world of web design is in constant motion. It’s not linear, it’s a system that keeps evolving like a spider web, expanding with intricacy out in many different directions. So, the obvious question is: How can you possibly stay relevant in a field that is bursting with new methods and ideas? Well, it’s not easy. In fact, it’s extremely difficult but any good developer has tips and tricks on how to stay up to speed on anything and everything up and coming on the web.
- Utilize news aggregators. They are a gold mine! News aggregators pull in different magazines and articles from a variety of websites. You can personalize them so that you get updates on specific topics or a certain field. They really help you watch what’s new, what’s being used and what’s becoming standard. I personally use Flipboard. You can create an account and store any articles, videos, or photos that you are interested in or that could be helpful in the future!
- Chitchat with developer friends. The developer community is very robust. There’s a lot of people out there who are willing to share information and help each other out. One way to enter this community is to join online groups of designers and developers so that you are not developing in your own little vacuum… Another way is to contact someone in the web field you may know personally. I have one friend who’s a developer and I always go to him with questions and to share knowledge. Some things are just easier to learn from someone else and knowing how to code things efficiently is one of those things. It’s vital to have reliable connections in this industry!
- Stay alert and predict what’s coming next. Animation is definitely up and coming. Back when the web started, there was an explosion of animation and it was all very cheesy: scrolling banners of text, moving cartoons, etc. (you get the point). Animation is also very complicated, involving heavy coding and therefore will slow down a website. For all these reasons, it became outdated. But now people are developing better systems and broadband speeds are getting faster. It’s becoming easier to create animations for websites so people are starting to use it more. Animation is very engaging and keeps people interested. It increases the “stickiness” of a website (if you don’t know it, check out this resource)!
There is an unlimited wealth of knowledge at your fingertips on the Internet. When in doubt, Google the answer to a question and work through it on your own. No matter what method you find most suitable, use and develop it extensively. Staying updated in this industry can be the difference between a successful, flourishing career and one that plateaus so keep these tips in mind to stay ahead of the web design curve, and of course if you’re interested in further developing your website please reach out!