100 Daily Ui Challenge
Check all of the Challenges on my Dribbble site.
Probably every creative can relate to the situation when you put your heart and soul in a project just to see it stabbed multiple times by stakeholders. What if this happens over and over again for the same project? With every round you are getting more and more unstable, increasing the chance that you will actually create something shit or say something stupid. The tension just keeps growing and it won’t go away. As a designer of any sort, one of the challenging — if not the most challenging — part is to keep yourself composed at any time. This mindset won’t be achieved without some kind of practice. In my case, this was the 100 Daily UI Challenge. How?
Think about the challenge as a “client”. He keeps coming back every day, asking for unpredictable tasks meanwhile you have to manage your 9–5 job, family, relationships etc., with little or no reward at the end. During 5 months a lot can happen to you, but still, this “client” won’t go away. If you can show up every day and deliver, I guarantee that your tension limit will be improved a lot, giving you a chance to keep your mind cool at all times. Not to mention that your design skills will greatly improve as well.
Key takeaways from the 5-month process.
1. It is 5 months. Be persistent no matter what!
It is a long period of time. For example meanwhile, I was doing the challenge I moved into a new house with my lovely girlfriend, fired up our own business, changed our whole company profile where I work 9-5 etc... A lot of things will affect your mood and there is no big prize at the end so remember that you do this to learn every day, not to be the best every day. Go check my daily posts, not all of them have to win an Awwward 😀There will be ups and downs but if you manage to "show up"every day I guarantee that you will simply feel a huge step forward in your skills at the end.
2. Always look around first! Align your self with the best.
Before every task, I simply typed in the daily challenge to Dribbble or Behance to see what is the most progressive or most appealing solution for me. Sometimes I found something that I liked so much, I just went in there and copied the whole stuff because I wanted to experience the process of creating that specific thing. Don't be afraid to copy good work. After a while, I noticed that my own ideas merged with the followed examples creating a new style which was my "own". Far from perfect, but something to work on.
3. Measure your process somehow. Learn about your self.
For me, the biggest win was that when I was at Daily UI #18 - Analytics I came up with the crude idea of the infographic which you can see above and from that point I took notes every day about my process. Which at the end became an extensive analysis of my own behavior. I can see some patterns that I can connect to the topic of the challenge. Discovered some triggers. For every person, these learnings would be completely different, so I let you guys do the discovery for your selves. If you want, use my template in Figma, just make sure to share it with us at the end. 😉
4. Set your self some rules. Create your own goals.
For example, I only let myself at max, 2 hours a day to work on the challenges. Whatever I had at the 2-hour mark, I had to upload. Of course, I could spend my whole day on each and every task (and if you want, go ahead) but for me, the goal was to try out new solutions, expand my field of view and to get comfy with new programs on the way and to get a better understanding on what should be my own direction in UI, UX & design. Check the infographic again see my rules for example.
5. Share your results. Get feedback.
Like I said, not everything that you create will be groundbreaking. Still, be brave and share everything. For me, it was really interesting to see the view numbers and likes I got. Sometimes I felt like "Wow" but numbers said something else like "meh". A few times I only spent 5-10 minutes on a task that was totally unexciting for me, but I got some impressive results in terms of feedback. Don't forget that your idea of good design is subjective. Design is about creating solutions for a community. You cannot leave them out of the process. Otherwise, you are shooting your self in the knee at every step.
6. Not every task will be exciting but still, have fun!
Most of the tasks that I found hard was not because I had problems creating it, but because I could not motivate myself to do something that i was not interested in. Here you have to take a step back, look around on the web maybe and find something in the task that is exciting for you, View at it from that perspective. Maybe zoom in on just a tiny part of the topic if that is what you want. If you don't feel some kind of excitement while you are creating, you are on the wrong path.
+1. Again, be persistent! Show up every day!
Daily UI Challenge helped me tremendously to push my limits and to be more composed in any situation. As well it made me realize how much I don’t know about design and to see in which direction should I head for the next level. Maybe it could help you as well.