As a designer, I am still learning a great deal, I have played with Cinema 4D for 3D graphics, After Effects for motion graphics, Premiere Pro for video and a whole host of various software for vector and bitmap images trying to find the one place where I can specialise, I loved them all. I tried the different disciplines of theoretical design, like User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design as well as trying to learn things I consider useful for design like Neuropsychology, History and Politics, all really interesting subjects, but I eventually found something I am starting to love, and it’s not what you might think.
I have a passion for design, this is probably why I find it so difficult to concentrate on just one area to really hone those skills, to target a discipline and stick to it is very difficult for me as I seem to love everything I do, I want to learn so much that I simply cannot pin one thing down for a long time without feeling the need to explore more, I find that when I am learning something, someone mentions a piece of software or a theory that catches my attention, and then off I go to explore a new area and although I do go back to the area I was learning, it takes me a few weeks usually. I might, for example, spend 3 weeks messing about with Cinema 4d and really be enjoying myself, I might be on the lookout on a new technique and come across a useful tutorial in which they mention a way to integrate my 3d project into a website, my initial reaction is ‘wow, that sounds cool’ and off I go, distracted for several weeks to learn this technique.
Get in Control
There is only one thing that is able to control this lack of dedication, and that is when we are working on a client’s website but even then I can sometimes be distracted by all the new brilliant techniques I could bring to a client project, I need to be constantly reminded that we have a deadline that must be met, this is always enough to make sure I stick to what we have planned out rather than exploring different possibilities, there is a time for that and the time is at the very beginning of a project, the last thing I should be doing is clouding a project with multiple untested and unchecked techniques that could potentially make us miss a deadline and make the client unhappy.
Finally A Direction
The First Thing I Learned
Immediately after university, I was unaware that anything had moved on so when it came to designing my first post-university website it was not as easy as it used to be, I had assumed that other than the different browsers, devices and screen sizes we had to now cater for with media queries that everything else was the same, but even that bought some unforeseen issues. As I went on through the development of this website I was finding constant cross-browser and media query issues, it was a nightmare having to add prefixes for some of the newest CSS animation features and then make sure it was all working correctly across different browsers, I had to find a solution to speed the process of development up, it was taking too long.
After hunting around I found something very useful, a new language called SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets), very simple to grasp in concept since it was basically CSS with a few extra features to make things simpler and cleaner to code, but there was a problem, the engine that compiled the code needed to be installed onto my computer and in order to do that, other software needed to be installed prior to installing that… This might take some time…
First steps into npm (Node Package Manager)
Ok, that was cool, a new folder and several new files appeared in my folder, I took a peek inside the new folder and there were at least 20 new folders inside that, so I just decided to get started, I made sure SASS was working as they had shown me on the tutorial and got to work. When I had finished the website (in a much better time) I was curious about NPM and how it installed SASS and made it available to be so easy, I wondered what else it could do so back to YouTube. I found that it was a package manager, it basically downloads prewritten scripts that I can use to develop my own website to save time or add features etc and that there was a website that had a list of the files NPM could use, so I had a look and found Autoprefixer, software that automatically prefixes cross-browser events like animations so my animations would work in all browsers without issue. I installed Autoprefixer and realised that every time I made a change I had to refresh my browser window, so NPM again and I found a browser refresh.
The next step