1. Figure out your approach
If you’re a design person, you probably already know it. To hone your skills, start reading design blogs and visiting sites that showcase good design, such as D-lists. If you’re not a design person, however, you may need to approach this more like a science project. Try learning the basic principles of design (balance, scale, etc.), and apply them to your projects in a rigorous way.
Sketching has been a great addition to my daily routine. I love to mock out an interface, show it to a few customers and see if they “get” it. It’s an easy way to make sure you’re stretching your design muscles.
3. Read “Design for Hackers”
“Design for Hackers” by David Kadavy is a great primer on design, and it’s written for more left-brain thinkers, like programmers. Kadavy goes over the basics of design, and he also helps you develop your own eye for what works and what doesn’t. It’s not a book you’ll finish in one sitting, but it will make you a better designer.
4. Don’t hone it — delegate it
I’m not a designer. I can ramble on to designers for hours about what I want but there is no way I can reproduce it from a technical standpoint or from a theoretical standpoint. That’s why you need to either hire an experienced designer or you need to pay through the nose for a great one that can not only design your project, but take care of the user experience as well.
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