This past Friday a few of us hit the road to Charlotte to attend and participate in FusionConf. Not only was a portion of NMC in the crowd, but they were on stage as well! Both NMC's Ashley and NMC close friend, Lenny of Hey Monkey! Design gave amazing talks about optimizing your design process and how unlimited revisions (in life) can actually be a good thing! If you haven’t heard of FusionConf yet, it’s a half-day jam packed of talks about web design, UX, and development. This year's Design Edition featured 6 speakers that ranged from illustrators to screen printers to web and ux designers.
Check out a few of our takeaways from the afternoon:
As designers, we have awesome jobs but sometimes work can just be, well…work. I’ve had plenty of days where I sign off and forget about design completely (which is totally acceptable and necessary sometimes!) but in order to grow as a designer and create great work we need to immerse ourselves in our craft on a day-to-day basis. Ayana Campbell’s talk was full of great tidbits about what she’s learned so far in her creative career. She reminded us to cultivate our interests, seize opportunities, and surround ourselves with people to learn from. Throughout the conference I was reminded that as designers we are always growing. Taking on a personal side project or attending design meetups every now and then will only make us that much better at our 9 to 5’s.
You can't rush creativity. Yes, there is always a deadline that needs to be met, but if we manage our time properly from start to finish we’ll make it through projects without too much stress and end on a good note. Ashley Morgan's talk was about how design is a marathon and you shouldn’t move too fast or too slow. The design process includes a pre-race, starting line, mid race, and the finish line and all steps are necessary for a successful project. Oftentimes at the beginning of the project I want to jump straight into the design phase and knock out a great design! But it doesn't work like that. Even if you end up creating a great design right off the bat it still may not hit that mark with the clients needs. Trust the process!
I know, this nugget might sound like the opposite of “taking it easy”, but…. do you want to make satisfactory work or outstanding work? The difference between the two doesn’t have to be some huge undertaking that takes hours. It could be very minor but will make a big impact. Whether you create an extra layout when you have time, work a bit longer to polish a design, or learn a new skill in your free time, it all pays off. Mel Shields chatted about motion design and how animations, even very subtle effects, can do so much for a website and it's overall user experience. Personally, I’ve been diving into learning svg icon animation and the NMC development team has already taken steps to use more animation on our websites just to give them that finishing touch! In the words of Lenny Terenzi, “if it scares you, do it!”
It’s safe to say we all left feeling inspired and refreshed! Keep an eye out for future versions of the conference like FusionConf: Frontend Edition this September and a FusionConf: Holiday Edition in December.