The design industry is constantly evolving, with new trends, best practices, and entirely new design tools emerging all the time. Regardless of whether you're focusing on user interface design (UI design), user experience design (UX design), product design, or web design, it can feel overwhelming trying to stay up-to-date and progress in your career.
In a growing and competitive industry, improving your user interface design and visual design skills is the key to standing out. Bad design, conversely, is easy to spot and will make you stand out in the wrong way. Design tools and trends come and go, but good design skills and learning fundamental principles — color theory, design theory, user interface design patterns, design processes, visual hierarchy, gestalt principles, user research, and negative space — are timeless and an incredibly valuable investment in your career.
But how do you get good at design, particularly user interaction design? We've written this blog post with several tips to help you improve your UI skills and get ahead in this competitive industry. Let’s get started.
Seek design inspiration from your peers
Design inspiration and learning from other designers plays a huge role in any creative niche. One of the easiest ways to get inspired is by following the design portfolios of other UI/UX designers. After all, the collective work of your peers is what drives good design — we're all just continuous learning from each other and trying to design the best solutions for each design project.
Following great designers, especially designers with different styles, will help you always stay on track with the latest innovative design approaches. Ultimately, it’ll show in your own designs as well. Even if you consider yourself a good web designer or good graphic designer, there's always someone out there for you to learn from.
Continuous learning from other designers leads to progressive enhancement — start from a rock-solid foundation with best practices and then add improvements. Approaching UI/UX design with this mentality works because you're combining the best design work from the best designers to create something new.
As you absorb and learn from great designers, you'll quickly develop an "eye" for design and will find it much easier you'll be able to improve various aspects of your UI/UX design, such as visual hierarchy and color palettes. This is the kind of intuition that can't be taught in an online course or book!
There are tons of great designers and many great websites to follow beautiful design work. These are some of the best examples and our favorite websites for inspiration at the moment:
The great thing about these websites is that they offer a huge selection of all kinds of user interface design, product design, web design, and graphic design inspiration. This makes it easier to stumble upon new things and inspiration outside of your design niche, too. Even though UI design is a specific design field, it coexists with other types of creative fields, such as UX design and graphic design.
If you're looking for the best examples of world-class UI/UX designers web designers, and product designers, these are a handful of people and design studios to follow on Dribbble that inspire Jordan Hughes (creator of Untitled UI):