My 4.5 Month Journey With Daily UI
Yes, I was one of those designers posting a design prompt from Daily UI everyday for the last 100 weekdays.
In October of 2015 I stumbled upon dailyui.co, a daily email letter that includes a simple design prompt and nothing else. I thought, “Oh, this could be fun.” Although, as a motion designer, I decided that I would up the challenge to animate each prompt into a looping GIF.
This was a good idea, but also a very challenging one. Instead of spending maybe 30 minutes a day designing the prompt, I typically spent about 1–4 hours. However, this helped me learn better time management, workflow efficiency, and grow to become a better motion designer.
Each day, I found myself spending a little too much time thinking about and creating resources for the prompts. Everything from choosing colors to making icons. For some designs, it was important that I created the icons or chose specific colors. But for most, I found it much more efficient to have somewhere to resource colors and icons from.
Google Design Material Colors
Adobe Color CC
Google Design Material Icons
These are all great, and not to mention free, online resources that can help you with this challenge, or even just design mockups. I definitely would recommend using resources like these for quick mockups or proof of concepts, then as time permits, designing your own icons and choosing colors that best fit your project.
The Daily UI challenge has been such a great study to go through, to improve my skills as well as making plenty of new connections through Dribbble. However, as with any project, including my own, I think it can be improved.
There are two main aspects of the Daily UI experience that I feel could use some improvement.
- Rethink some of the prompts.
Most of the prompts suggested quality problem solving and thinking. But there were a handful that I felt could’ve been replaced with something that strikes a better thought process in making something of value. Some that are included in this handful are 052 — Daily UI Logo, 063 — Best of 2015, and 084 — Badge. I feel that prompts which inspire more thought into solving an actual user interface problem and give designers the opportunity to attempt to think differently about a UI element are more valuable to the challenge.
- Include prompt examples in the emails.
The first reaction I had to opening the daily prompt every morning was to search on Dribbble to see what other people have made in relation. This wasn’t an attempt to copy anything I see, but to get inspired to come up with a problem I wanted to solve. If each email had a couple examples of what the prompt was for that day, it would give a great starting point for participants of the challenge.
I won’t list all of the prompts below, you can see those here. But I will share a few monumental shots from the challenge.
First: 001 — Sign Up
This is where I decided to animate every single prompt. This signup form is inspired by Material Design and the concept of floating labels adapting to icon format.
Last: 100 — Redesign Daily UI Landing Page
Even though this prompt called us to redesign the Daily UI landing page, I didn’t think it needed a redesign. I thought the daily email could use a redesign more, which would include prompt examples like mentioned above.
Most Popular: 076 — Loading (Android Marshmallow Boot Animation)
This prompt actually allowed me to create something I had been wanting to for a while. Thankfully someone recorded this animation and posted it on YouTube, so I didn’t have to restart my phone a thousand times. And thank YouTube for having slow playback options. This prompt also took the longest to make, about 6 hours.
Other Popular Prompts:
049 — Notifications
042 — ToDo List
068 — Flight Search
026 — Subscribe
There have been countless tweets and articles conveying negative and positive opinions towards the Daily UI challenge. Everything is worth a read and deserves a chance to help you make your own opinions and decisions. Personally, if you want to challenge yourself to grow and become a better designer, or want to experiment with more animation or a specific style, I highly suggest you try out Daily UI. It has opened doors for me I didn’t know how before, including connections all over the world and multiple job offers.
The main pieces of advice I would say to truly make this challenge worth it for you and your growth are these final tips:
- Use the prompts as a loose guideline, adapting them to how you can best challenge yourself.
- Create problems you would want to solve and bring valuable solutions to.
- Engage with others taking the challenge, give feedback and seek criticism.
- PUSH THROUGH! If you can, persevere through the hard times and finish the challenge. It’s hard to be proud of something you quit. But don’t let it overtake your personal time with family, friends, or work. If you have to take a break or skip day, do what you feel is right for you. But do your best to come back and finish what you started.
If you would like to view my finished collection of prompts, you can see them from the link below. If you have any questions about my process, how I created any of my prompts, or just want to get in touch, reach out to me.