Don’t hold back, surprise yourself

Are you good at what you do?

It’s a big question to ask yourself. Have you sat at your desk and said “I’m the best designer/developer there is…” or “I’m better than that guy…” ?

It’s very hard to be the best at something when you never stop learning, the minute you hold back or stop you’re in trouble. If you don’t embrace change you’re hindering the production of something you could be fantastic at. My daily routine is full of thinking, designing, coding, sketching and proofing. All of those things I know I could be better at. I started out when I was a small boy drawing pictures by copying them, knowing how to draw curves in the right place on a piece of paper. This was way before I was sat in front of a computer. Even before the computer I was used to sit and read magazine after magazine after magazine I have a slight OCD with magazine and newspaper designs and because I used to love them so much when I managed to get my hands on my first computer I used to print off various typefaces and draw my own newspaper front pages by hand and tracing text to make headlines.

As I progressed the time came to switch fully to a computer and the web took over my life. There is so much you can learn. Apart from design in photoshop, I knew I had to code. I was never going to be a programmer so XHTML and CSS was going to be my thing. I learned the basics of both in around 6 hours putting together my first website. I surprised myself, it was something I knew I had to do so I went and did it.

I still read magazines, blogs and watch videos of design related content because I want to learn more. Don’t hold back, surprise yourself. Keep doing this and you’ll be better than you ever imagined.

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Lead Interaction Designer at DigitalDWP. Organiser of Industry, The Practical Web Conference..