Working remotely as a designer is hard, and a new reality for a lot of people right now. It can feel isolating, uninspiring and generally the opposite of the creative vibes you get for free being in a studio environment.

Fortunately there are some easy things you can do to keep things fun and collaborative when distributed from your team — some things I’ve learned through years of trial and error — which will keep you sane (and productive) through these weird times.

For some background, I’ve been working remotely at Help Scout for 3 years from my house in rural Australia — collaborating with a team mostly based in North America. Coming from 10+ years in-house experience I really struggled with remote at first, but I’ve come to love this new way of working… and somehow feel more creative than ever! So here are some tips on being a remote designer from someone whose tried just about…

The muse is almost never there when you need it, so take a systematic approach

Images courtesy of the author. Sources

Inspiration is a key component of visual design. It’s a reference point that kick-starts the creative process and a starting point for producing beautiful, visually pleasing solutions in response to a well-defined problem. But honestly, how to summon inspiration is a total mystery to me.

It’s a fleeting, rarely spontaneous feeling, and it’s almost never there when I need it. …

I’m not usually a huge fan of generic New Year’s resolutions — things like “eat better” or “workout more” can happen whenever (or never). But at the start of 2019, I wrote myself a couple of Design Resolutions… creative goals I had for my work that could begin when I returned to my ongoing projects in the new year. These were real goals I could hold myself accountable to — and as it happened, January was the perfect timing to try something new.

I only had two resolutions in 2019, but I found them to be incredibly valuable to me and my work. And without much ongoing effort I was able to keep them up for the entire year, eventually forming creative habits and hopefully evolving my design skills for the better. So these are mine from last year, and a couple for 2020 — hopefully they’ll inspire your…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store