Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.
We all live in different parts of the world, we have our own climate, enjoy our own food, watch our own shows, and immerse ourselves into particular books.
It’s clear that our surroundings shape our character, lifestyle, and the way we perceive inner and outer worlds. In a way, we absorb everything around us – battered gym locker room walls, dirty public transportation carpeted with obnoxious second-rate commercial ads.
But how does it all influence the result of our work as designers? Everything we do is based on our life experience. The less experience you have accumulated, the lesser options to make the right decision are out there.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about experience:
Experience is the knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it. This means that exposure to low quality books, lame movies, wearing ugly clothes, and living in a shed makes it “okay” and affects our decision making. Evidently, the opposites of those things raise the bar of normality and help you rock.
Raise the Bar
By any means necessary, absorb the good stuff. Turn it into a habit. Just like learning a foreign language, you need to be constantly in that mode, once you take a break, you will have to do a lot of catching-up.
Don’t be afraid to use your colleagues’ experience. Collect impressive things, everything that blows your mind. That helps broaden your spectrum and keep the hand on the pulse of the industry. A library of good design solutions also enriches your set of visual skills and gives you the power of templating.
Which one is quality design?
Traveling gives you a different perspective on how people see the same things, how they act and co-exist. Apart from being simply interesting, it is also good for your outlook.
Have yourself a Pinterest account or just a local folder where you will keep beautiful, impressive, and “the right” pictures.
I got myself a Reeder app where I subscribe to various inspiration sources. With this app you don’t need to bookmark stuff in your browser, it does everything for you offline. We also have a Pinterest account for our design team where I pin all the decent graphics so that we are all tuned the same way.