That there are multiple ways to make an idea work in web design - but depending on how that idea will work - you need to actually think a few steps ahead. I only figured this out after bumping into a few dead ends and countless hours of trial and error of coding. It’s something I needed to get used to coming from UI design where you can just “ctrl-z” something if it’s not visually appealing. If something is not working or behaving the way it’s supposed to in code, you have to track down where it goes wrong and why.
Which might sound super dread-full, but the upside is that, along the way, even with the dead ends, if it doesn’t work out the way you initially imagined it, you sometimes discover other cool things you weren’t aware of or didn’t know about. This is what for me also makes this field so exciting, there will always be something new to learn or explore.
I knew I wanted to do something creative but I also liked math and more technical subjects. I found design the perfect combination of those two.
I initially graduated as an industrial designer - but due to interest, skills and market demand, I ended up working as a UI/UX designer which eventually lead me to web design and coding.
Working in UI design however, I feel a lot of design tools have their limitations, which also limits the creative process and eventually the outcome. Whereas with code and web design - there are almost none.
Looking back I sometimes regret not having studied web design and coding from the beginning but back then I also didn’t realise that this was something that could be approached in a creative way.
Currently, I’m doing mainly UI design, web design and web development. At this point, I’m very excited to acquire more skills and confidence in web design and development. Apart from that, I’m also extremely curious about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and how that is going to change the “internet landscape”.
Do internships during your studies - both for you to figure out what you want to do - what kind of industries you’re interested in and what kind of companies you want to work with. It will also teach you the more soft side of design which is not less important - but often not taught in design schools. Things like: how to plan a project, how to deal with clients and how to collaborate with people outside of your field.
On top of that, it also looks good on your resume and it expands your network.
If you can, try to do an international internship - design is in a way very cultural and can really be inspirational if practiced outside of your comfort zone. I know it’s a cliché but it really makes you see things in different perspectives.
Apart from internships, try not to measure yourself too much with your peers. It’s good to know what they’re doing but they’re not you. Try to use this time to experiment with as many directions as possible to figure out what kind of designer you want to be.
I’m originally from Antwerp (Belgium) which has a pretty good reputation on design, especially when it comes to fashion design. A few years back however I moved to Copenhagen because I felt Scandinavia was on certain fields way more ahead of its time. Especially digitally.
There were a lot more things to explore in Copenhagen and being a digital designer, it felt like I was entering a new playground.
Apart from Copenhagen also has a very active and contemporary art and music scene which brings for me a continuous stream of inspiration and a “can-do” mentality. There are always new events, new exhibitions and new initiatives popping up and knowing that there is a space for that really gives a certain type of freedom to explore and unfold yourself as a designer.
Companies I would love to collaborate with are more in the space of culture, art, research and education.
We have a lot of cultural initiatives and I would love to be involved in one of those. Also, organisations like space10 or CATCH (click festival) are really inspiring in how they combine futuristic research with contemporary aesthetics.
I would also really like to work with a fashion brand, mostly because I’m really eager to experiment how fashion can be showcased and experienced more in a digital space.
Apart from those, there are also some really cool agencies (Urgent agency, YOKE, B14) in Copenhagen I would love to collaborate with.
I think this is a really difficult question because the role as designer can really take so many directions in 5 years.
But I mainly hope to have the freedom to develop myself and my skills in the design-directions that I’m interested in. I don’t think UI and web design as how we know it now, will be the same in 5 years. And I hope that I’m able to keep up or even be ahead of the changes that are upon us.
2019 will be the year for me to focus on and practice my new acquired skills in web design and coding and hopefully applying them in more commercial settings.