My first job was as a web designer / front-end developer. It was a different time, and I was fresh out of university where, apart from a bunch of other things, I studied some design. That first job was quite easy, I had clear guidelines that I couldn’t bypass and web design wasn’t as complex as it is today. After that first job, others came, but never as a designer. I fashioned myself more as a coder (I still do) and, being completely honest, I’m not good at designing. I can appreciate good design, I understand the theory behind it and I have the knowledge. But anyone with a bit of experience in life knows that from theory to practice there’s a long way.
I’m writing about this because I’ve spend the last (almost) five years working on a designer-less environment. It never bothered me. The CEO had a clear vision of the company’s brand and image, so between my limited designing skills and his input we’ve managed to create a product that is quite decent, if not good. Or that is what I used to think. Recently I’ve been reviewing our website in detail and I’m not happy with what I’ve seen. But not everything is negative. Yes, we have a lot of inconsistencies and some poorly designed elements, but I believe we have the foundations of a good design.
So I got back to work (is not like we can hire a designer at the moment) and I’ve started a digital Design Guideline. So far I’m just trying to put things together. We have a lot of good stuff on our website but is not standard. There are variations of the same elements here and there, and that is the first thing that needs to be addressed. I’m using the Material Design guidelines as a reference. We have relayed on Google’s guidelines in the past and I believe is gonna help me find the consistency that we need.
In the near future I’d like to post the new guide and some examples of how we have improved things. I’m never gonna be an excellent designer, but I trust myself to do this job.