Science is an art and art is a science, so when it comes to design and technology, the two complement one another and propel each other forward. In particular, graphic design fundamentally merges the two – technology and art – and these fields come together to help build brands, communicate with customers, and offer strategic and innovative measures to shape the world and our place in it.
As the largest realm in the design field, there are nearly 300,000 graphic designers employed in the United States alone. It’s of utmost importance for graphic designers to stay up-to-date with software and trends and plan for what’s coming next.
Since graphic design is all about communicating a message visually and solving problems through typography, illustration and imagery, the methods of design adapt with the changing times as mediums of communication continue to innovate.
Here are some ways that design can stay up-to-date as the technology used to convey messages advances
- Goal-Driven Design: Goal-driven design (GDD) understands that websites and applications exist to serve two types of users – the end users, as well as the business owners. GDD understands that intention and purpose is at the heart of every design, so it asks both involved parties “why” they want to have or visit a website or application. Then, everything from layout, color, typography, call-to-action buttons and the like are designed around achieving these goals. Since these considerations depend on the “why,” they of course incorporate the “how,” but the methods can be adapted to the time and technology surrounding the product.
- Usability: Encompassed in the overall user experience, usability refers to the ease of use of a website or product. Usability has three main goals, namely:
1. The user should understand the interface during their first journey
2. The user should know how to accomplish what they want
3. The user should be able to know how to navigate their way around when returning to the website or product. This is accomplished through the design process of wireframes, prototypes and, of course, the final deliverable.
- Teamwork: Technology, like all products, has an adoption rate. Many early adopters, or those who gravitate towards the new products first, tend to be younger generations. With this in mind, it’s a useful practice to collaborate and hire young designers to learn from them, especially in the forefront of technology. While older designers can imbue many useful practices and share from their years of experiences, young designers can help navigate the ever changing technological landscape.
- Resources: The world has never been more connected than it is today because of digital technology, the internet, and the open platforms to share online. Not only are books an obvious and important method to always learn new design skills, but blogs, videos, and online courses are widely accessible to serve the purpose of continuous learning.
As technology innovates and graphic design both reflects and is informed by society, the two go together like a horse and carriage. Therefore, in order to remain efficient in the design process, as well as provide clients with the best possible product, it’s of paramount importance to stay up-to-date with design software, hardware, trends and practices. This no doubt means that it’s necessary to invest in the proper hardware and newest software to be able to do this, even if it comes at an upfront cost.
As time progresses, these changes and innovations will fly at designers even faster, so by incorporating these best practices sooner than later, graphic designers can remain ahead of the curve.