A roundup of advice for designers and creatives

The best tips for designers and creatives, on topics from material design and Sketch to freelancing and online learning.

By Brittany Jezouit

Image: decorwm

There’s a wealth of information on the Envato Blog for designers and creatives. Whether you’re looking for tips to improve your content marketing, or searching for UX advice on how to structure the mobile app you’re developing, we have expertise and resources on every subject. We combed our archives for a roundup of the best takeaways from some of our most popular articles:

Our best advice for…

For email marketers:

Key takeaway: Keep it simple.

Last year email marketers went to town on using emoji’s in subject lines, especially after Mailchimp rolled out emoji support. GIFs were also trending, with seemingly most marketing emails either including one or being the single focus of the creative!

For learning more about design:

Key takeaway: never stop learning, and never stop practicing.

The general idea: make stuff. Make a lot of stuff. Set a goal to create a body of work: to finish one story a week, or to create 30 new designs in Illustrator in one month.

For UX on mobile design:

Key takeaway: save the design surprises and make things easy.

There’s a time to experiment and a time to stay traditional. When it comes to basic user experience, it’s better to go traditional. Experiments are fun with A/B testing, but when you need an application that just works it’s best to stick with conventional design patterns.

For content marketers:

Key takeaway: Create balanced content.

The goal is to find a popular topic to which you can add. Remember that originality is paramount.

For freelancers:

Key takeaway: hustle.

Freelancing is hard. And it’s even harder if you don’t put in some double-time work to make your business stand out from your competitors.

For material design:

Key takeaway: do your research.

If you follow Google’s Material guidelines and craft interfaces with usability in mind, then you’ll have no problem adapting Material techniques into your web design workflow.

For HTTPS:

Key takeaway: encryption, data integrity, and authentication should be a priority.

The idea for the HTTPS rollout started back in 2014, when some Envato engineers implemented a feature toggle for staff staff to opt-in for HTTPS. For years, this functionality sat dormant and unused by most staff. Earlier this year, we decided to give it another push.

For your resume design:

Key takeaway: Keep it simple, but interesting.

Simply put, your resume should make your and your employer’s life easier. Having a cluttered resume with overloaded information or poor typeface will serve just one purpose: annoy the hiring manager or HR staff.

For designing mobile apps:

Key takeaway: mobile is a different experience.

The screen size of a mobile device is much smaller than a full-size desktop or laptop, so you’re limited to how much content you can display on one screen… you should design your app so that it’s as easy as possible for your customers to use and, most importantly, buy something.

For video marketers:

Key takeaway: don’t ignore video.

When you consider the fact that this past was largely dominated by video, it should come as no surprise that the popularity of video will continue to rise in 2017.

For WooCommerce

Key takeaway: just because WooCommerce is easy to use doesn’t mean you should skip the extra effort.

Building and running your own eCommerce site is easier than ever, thanks to WordPress and WooCommerce. Even so, there are still challenges in getting everything to look and function the way you want. Take some time to map out your goals, find a theme and any necessary extensions to make it possible and lastly (but not least) put in the hard work to make it a success.

For minimal websites:

Key takeaway: minimalism is here to stay.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to simply fill every last pixel of screen real estate with content or imagery. Minimalism resists that temptation by incorporating white space in order to give each element it’s own room to breathe. It’s the opposite of the overwhelming designs we saw years ago.

For JavaScript:

Key takeaway: there are a lot of resources out there.

But it feels like we’ve reached a point of resource overload. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of different JavaScript libraries and plugins to choose from. Where do you even start?

For Sketch:

Key takeaway: Sketch is an essential design tool.

If you’re a UI designer, and you still haven’t hopped aboard the Sketch express, you are truly missing out on an app that has taken the design world by storm in the past few years, and deservedly so.

For WordPress security:

Key takeaway: take the security of your website seriously. You worked hard on it!

Creating backups of your website should be the number one priority. It’s the difference between losing months of hard work and being able to restore your website in a matter of minutes.

Brittany Jezouit is an editor at Envato.

Read more tips & tricks to move your design and creative career forward on the Envato Blog.

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