in Design

Why You Need To Go Out Of Your Comfort Zone In Web Design

Once you have been working in web design for a number of years, you will most likely fall into a rut that sees you following the same patterns over and over. And is it any wonder when the rest of world encourages you to play to your strengths and discount any area where you may need a little work? Whilst this is one way to ensure your success, it could actually work to your detriment at some point in the future. As a designer, it is important that you are able to adapt and grow according to trends and developments in the industry – otherwise you’ll end up a washed out wannabe. This is why it is important to step out of your comfort zone every now and then.

Your comfort zone makes you feel safe and secure – there is no chance of failure or dissatisfaction if you stick to those web design techniques that you are good at and that people have come to expect of you. Sticking to what you know, however, will actually begin to stunt your growth as a designer. You’re not giving yourself any room to move or improve. Think back to the time when you were a young designer, fresh off campus and attempting one of your first websites for a paying client. How did you feel? Nervous? Excited? It’s about time you started feeling that way about your work again.

What are the boundaries of your comfort zone?

The first step in working outside of your web design comfort zone is determining where its boundaries lie. Take a look at the websites that you have designed over the last year of your career and look for elements that tend to be repeated again and again across a majority of them. Do you use the same typeface in most of your designs, for example? Do you always use a white background? Do you always add a gradient to your buttons? By becoming aware of your habits, you can begin constructing a list of your strengths and weaknesses.

Set some goals that are specific and attainable

Whilst there is nothing wrong with the skills that you have used in the past – you know that they’ll work for you again, after all – you shouldn’t let your other web design skills stagnate. Begin by taking a look at some websites or designers that you think offer great inspiration but that you have never thought you could replicate. Pick a couple of these web design techniques and begin to explore them, providing that it is the right time and place to do so (if a client has hired you for a specific reason, for example, don’t try doing something completely different). Try and achieve each of these goals in a different website.

Become passionate about making a change

Once you have identified the areas in web design that you would like to improve in, you will need to start looking for inspiration and becoming passionate about these goals. This will involve steering clear of all the places that you normally look for inspiration and looking in some new areas. Find a new blog or two and browse some different web galleries. Pinpoint some designers who are considered the here and now of websites and take a look at their portfolios. By going back a few years and working your way up to the present, you should be able to see the ways in which their styles have changed.

Just dive right on in and do something different

The most important part of stepping outside your web design comfort zone is actually working towards those goals you have set yourself. You should, however, avoid trying to fit them into just any project that finds its way onto your desk. The perfect project, one that you can easily fit one of your goals into, will come along eventually. And, when it does, you will be fully prepared to begin implementing one of your goals to the best of your ability. Whilst it may seem a little daunting to begin with, you really should not be afraid to dive headfirst into the technique that you are trying to familiarize yourself with.

By only attempting to achieve one goal in each new web design project that comes across your desk, you will find that the finished product only features a slight deviation from your usual personal style. This will ensure that your boss, your peers or your clients are happy with the work they have received, as well as ensuring that you have been successful in adding a new design technique to your repertoire. Once you have ticked off each of the goals that you settled on right at the beginning of the process and you are happy with the way you have implemented the skills, you might like the start all over again with a list of new goals and techniques you would like to attempt. You can never have too many web design skills under your belt.

Author Bio: John has been working as a freelance writer for Zeemo. The company is known to provide excellent services for web development, online marketing and web design in Melbourne for over a decade now.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.