Design for the Future

June 15, 2017

Spoiler alert: this is article will make you rethink your web design process

As I look through some of my previous designs — I see a trend. It’s a positive trend of improvement, but it’s a trend that tends to follow the current of the popular design layouts. Seeing this wasn’t necessarily odd as that’s what positive progress is about, looking at the prolific professionals and emulating their work, but it did get me thinking. “What are the professionals actually doing, and thinking, that makes me emulate them?”

Modularity

The difference between my thinking, and the thinking of industry leaders, is that the leaders typically design for consistency, maintainability, and extendability — while I would design to make things look “pretty.” Prettiness is very subjective, but consistency isn’t. Something that is maintainable can be recognized by anyone. Therefore, I switched my thinking from the surface layer of design to design thinking.

User interfaces are a whole, and a collection of parts.

What I’m Doing About My Revelation

This revelation is now leading me down a path really digging into Atomic Design by Brad Frost as component-based design is the only way to create designs that are manageable, consistent, and beautiful. It is pushing me to a point in my career that has me excited about provide designs that are not only beautiful to look at, but have the potential to grow with the users and the business.

My new outlook on digital design, and design in general, has directly affected my current process.

As you can see, my Webflow project for Hunter Engineering is strictly separated into components. Modular assets that can be reused throughout the site from landing pages to product pages.

I am noticing that this push into atomic design methodology is helping me realize that my designs are stagnant and in need or improvement. Honestly, that’s exciting. Exciting to realize that there is more growth, yet.

Will This Last?

The future is wide open for design, and this chapter in my career is preparing me to lead users and businesses to a mental model that will help us “think of our user interfaces as both a cohesive whole and a collection of parts at the same time.”