As I wrapped up my work on the prototype this week, I kept thinking, “NO! This can’t be the final week! I have so much more to figure out!”
I have a lot to learn. This is just the beginning of the journey.
Some new tricks I picked up for myself as I worked this week:
- I should have been smarter, and created an index of pages for myself as I worked. I only employed this late in the week as I was finishing up my annotations, and kept finding screens that I’d forgotten about. The actual end product had more pages than my site map had accounted for at the beginning.
- When creating my digital prototypes, instead of building one complete screen at a time and moving on to the next one, I found it was best to design an element and apply it across all my screens, building all of them together as I went.
- I applied the same work method I use when creating an instructional guide, and took notes while I worked, allowing the annotation process to be smoother and more thorough. I also used a checklist to make sure that I built in all of the interactions that I had planned to show.
Some lessons I learned throughout the course:
- I learned that my original design choices for some pages didn’t work for other pages. I had to allow more flexibility in my work than I would have thought, just to adjust the design decisions for consistency—without even having client input!
- I learned that my fellow classmates and I can create wildly different designs, all based off of the same parameters, and that those design decisions show that even with all of the standards and guidelines for good design, creativity is still possible. That’s a great thing to know. If you can back up your design decisions with the reasons you think it will be best for your specific users, you can even defy some common conventions that could be seen as rules, based only on how often they are incorporated into designs.
- I am still learning to manage my time with these new skill sets. Because I’m still learning the basics, it takes me longer to complete tasks than I think. I spread my work out in manageable chunks over the weeks, but still ended up feeling stressed and rushed at the end. I think I’ll be better able to evaluate my hourly input in my next project, and won’t end up with so much to do at the end.
The good thing is, with all of the things I learned I am excited to continue to hone these new skills and improve with every new project I take on. I’m inspired to do better work and to keep trying new ideas. I can’t wait to see what my next project will be!