• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 5 — Moving from theory to practise

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

All talk and no work

Image credit: Pexels

It is easy to talk about something but taking the first step to do something is the most difficult part. At this point I had taken a couple of online courses and interacted with fellow designers, so I knew a little bit of theory. The only wireframes I had created were with pen and paper. Choosing a prototyping tool turned out to be quite a challenge.

There were so many options — free/paid, browser-based/desktop application. While some suggested to start with Keynote/Powerpoint, a lot of them swore by Sketch. As always, more options do not simplify your life. Finally I decided to download the trial version of Sketch and gave it a go.

The last time I used a graphic editor was Photoshop, back in college. Compared to the infinite options in Photoshop, Sketch was a breeze. I understood why people loved it so much. As I confessed earlier, I have always had an aversion for anything to do with visual design.

Now I am beginning to wonder if I was scarred by Photoshop’s mind-boggling interface! 🧐

I started drawing some boxes and lines like it was Microsoft Paint. I watched a couple of tutorials and learnt to do some basic operations. I began to like the process. Of course, my “designs” had no rhyme or reason. It was crude like a paper prototype, just in digital form. After a week or so, the fun waned and anxiety set in. I had no idea what I was doing.

Image credit: GIPHY

I could follow tutorials and re-create app screens but I did not understand the “why” behind the process. As per the theory, I was supposed to follow the various stages of the design thinking process but in reality I was at a loss. Given a problem statement, I would rush to solution phase based on the websites/apps I have used. I did not know how to do customer research or translate those findings into design.

Most of the courses are theoretical, even the ones in Interaction Design Foundation. Everything makes sense while watching the videos but while working on a real problem, I was at a loss. Design is best learnt through practise. Being a beginner, I realised online courses were not going to cut it for me.

I need some real-world classroom immersion.