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Think-Then-Do: How to be a Web Design Black Belt

Want to be a web design black belt? Start with mastering your own mind.

In my experience, the single most difficult and important skill for a web designer is:

Remembering what you’re doing

It is incredibly easy to get bogged down on the surface level of design, pushing boxes and buttons this way and that around the page until it appears to have perfect visual balance.

This is…

A Complete Waste of Time

Sometimes I’ve spent half a day designing and only rearranged a page design and then rearrange it back again.

The times that I’ve most enjoyed my work have happened when I’ve managed to keep a certain professional distance from the design.

The difference comes when I remember my purpose and have a picture in my mind’s eye of “what success will look like” i.e. my GOAL.

That’s why I encourage you to get clear on what it is you’re working towards, and to keep clear.

The Seven Steps of Think-then-do

  • Write down your GOAL and keep it handy as a touchstone
  • Refer back to it frequently
  • If, at any point, you can’t see the wood for the trees, it’s time to leave it alone
  • Take a break, forget all about it, rest your mind, come back, read your statement of purpose touchstone again, get the mental picture back, then look at the design as it is
  • Tell yourself out loud what’s right about it and what’s wrong about it
  • Tell yourself what you’re going to do, or even better – write it down
  • Then – sit down and do it.

With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be a black-belt in Think-then-do.

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