Whether you are working on your first website project or your portfolio is bursting with examples of your work, you should still look forward to way to learn and be inspired. Thankfully, experts have dozens of videos with easily digestible messages about art, design, and marketing to guide you through your next online endeavor. The following speakers will help you work through your designer’s block to publish some of the most creative and memorable websites ever.
Paul Bennet, ‘Design Is in the Details’
Paul Bennet, the creative director behind IDEO, makes a compelling argument that designers should always, always consider the end-user first. He says that solving small, individual needs will inherently resolve big, corporate problems. Often, designers are tempted to focus on aesthetics, completing projects according to their own desires, but by focusing on the user, you, your client, and your client’s customers get more value. Bennet shows this time and time again with small examples that had big effects on many lives.
Stefan Sagmeister, ‘Don’t Take Creativity for Granted’
Most designers have some amount of natural talent for thinking creatively, but over time, that talent might fade, and your creativity could disappear. Stefan Sagmeister, a prolific graphic designer and typographer based in New York, warns against trusting in the permanency of your creativity and devaluing its importance in your life. Instead, Sagmeister says you should be present in your creation process and enjoy it as long as possible.
David Carson, ‘Design and Discovery’
One of the most famous typographers of our era, David Carson has strong opinions when it comes to the development of great design. Instead of keeping your nose in books and your mind on your own styles, you should be receptive to the world, exploring to find sources of inspiration ― as well as insight into especially bad design. Carson provides myriad examples of poorly considered design, from bad characters to improper placement on websites (which you should always avoid when using a DIY website builder), which makes for a hilarious and educational talk.
Marian Bantjes, ‘Intricate Beauty by Design’
Most design schools try to purge designers of their compulsions to include themselves in their work; after all, most clients want their designs associated with their brands, not the designers who created them. However, Marian Bantjes argues the exact opposite: You should make design personal. Bantjes found that her work became more compelling and interesting after she injected her own style, and she believes all designers should integrate themselves into their projects.
Mike Monteiro, ‘F*** You, Pay Me’
A self-proclaimed jerk, Mike Monteiro’s talk is unlike any other you are likely to hear ― yet it is perhaps one of the most important lessons young and old designers should learn. Most creative careers suffer from clients who are reluctant to pay up for products and services, but Monteiro urges designers and other freelance professionals not to give up. You earn your pay, like anyone else, and you must retrieve your money by whatever means necessary.
Tim Burners-Lee, ‘The Next Web’
The inventor of the World Wide Web has not been content to silently enjoy the effects of his creation. Since developing the Internet, Tim Burners-Lee has worked tirelessly on another outstanding innovation: linked data. In his talk, Burners-Lee explains the power of linked data, why it is the next great step in communication and organization, and how designers can use it today with amazing results.
David Kelley, ‘How to Build Your Creative Confidence’
From elementary school up, kids are sorted into two groups: creatives and non-creatives. Creatives enjoy reading books and making art, while non-creatives stick to hard math and science. Creatives go on to less-profitable and more fulfilling careers, while non-creatives enjoy high salaries and dull tasks. Yet, David Kelley, the founder of IDEO, argues this age-old distinction doesn’t actually exist. Instead, Kelley says everyone has the potential to be creative, but the fear of failing prevents most from living out their creative dreams.
Denis Dutton, ‘A Darwinian Theory of Beauty’
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a frustratingly true saying that makes every designer’s job more difficult. Fortunately, philosopher Denis Dutton has made the study of beauty his life’s work, and he has developed a theory that should make aesthetically pleasing design easier to achieve. This talk examines the common patterns in human perception of beauty and how we can harness these similarities to make a more beautiful society.
TED Talk image by urban_data from Flickr.