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Times Are Changing. How Do You Keep Up?
Portrait of Andy Leverenz
Andy Leverenz

August 19, 2015

Last updated November 5, 2023

Times Are Changing. How Do You Keep Up?

We live in a fast-paced world where changes are happening every day. The design of "things" is changing. How we handle our day-to-day tasks are changing. Everything, is changing. So how do you keep up?

You're fooling yourself...

If you think you can keep up with everything going on in the world, you are severely mistaken. With so much news, events, and breakthroughs taking place, a human being can only absorb and focus on so much.

Focusing on the things that affect you directly is a good place to start when trying to learn more about something, perfecting a skill, or improving relationships.

Start small and think big. Plan out what you want to achieve long-term and do so in increments you set for yourself. You don't have to cram everything in at once. Whether it's a new language or skill you are trying to learn or the person you're trying to communicate better with, you'll need to grow on your own at the same time.

Design is Changing

Since this blog is about all things design and development I wanted to hone in on those two nichés as I know them well.

The design of things today is incredibly different than the design of things a century or so ago and even more different many centuries ago. With incredible advancements in technology, humans have evolved and adapted to an amazing degree. Who knew we would be able to communicate with others use a phone that fits in your pocket that you can also use as a GPS beacon to find a friend that is nearby.

If you think back to when you were little you probably didn't see a ton of cell phones or "devices" in people's hands. People were less attached because it didn't exist. Television was way more popular because there wasn't WiFi to operate your Roku so you can binge-watch Netflix all day and night.

Devices have changed the world, but that's only a small chunk of the change. The design of homes, buildings, roads, transportation, furniture, appliances and more made our lives easier and less frustrating in terms of how we live day today.

There are tools available that allow you to use as little time as possible to get the results you want or expect out of something. Would you be able to survive without your microwave? Your coffee maker? How about your elevator or garage door opener? We all take this stuff for granted for sure. I'm completely guilty of having these "things". There are times I step back and think about how it would be without them. It would suck, but it's only because I know that through design and the evolution of technology, these things were made possible.

Keeping Up With Design

Brush up your design skills and inspiration with the list of resources below.

Design isn't something you just pick up by reading a book or watching someone else. You have to learn by trial and error and by doing. With that said, the design is all around us. As a designer, you need inspiration from time to time. Below are some great resources I tend to look to for inspiration and the latest directions and styles designers are taking things. Check out this list and feel free to share your own in the comments.

The Web

These days, nearly everyone knows about the Internet. It is the holy grail of finding any information you desire. I compare it to a magic genie sometimes as you can ask any question you like and get a fairly solid answer. Technologies from Google, Apple, and other larger tech companies have been the driving force behind a fast-paced web and lifestyle.

Websites are becoming smarter, faster, easier to navigate and available for any device. Responsive or adaptive design is now expected rather than considered a bonus feature. There's an application for nearly anything you can think of.

The cloud is all the hype as well. If an application or website doesn't offer some sort of cloud-integrated feature, people will complain because they can't access whatever it is they have made from anywhere they have an Internet connection.

Keeping Up With The Web

Check out the list of resources to discover news, articles, tutorials, and more regarding all things web.[/caption]
Keeping up with web trends can be a challenge as it seems to move at the speed of late. Many communities are popping up that curate a list of links to new applications, articles, theories, and more that get shared across a large network daily. Below is a list of places I check often when trying to keep up with the world of the web. These keep you informed but beware they can be addicting!

Keeping Up Is Hard To Do

Even with all of the resources I've shared, you could easily spend half your day if not longer just clicking links, reading articles, or doing tutorials you find on those sites. I'm guilty of doing this all to often.

Sadly, there's just not enough time in the day for anyone to do this and still work the job they need to. We are all spoiled with so much information, but now the challenge is being able to decipher it all and choose what is the most to decipher.

As I've stated before, be sure to start small and niche out something you are really interested in. If you pick at it for a while it will likely become a new thing learned so that you can go on to the next. Good luck keeping up!

Have your own resources you look to for inspiration and new? Share them with us in the comments

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