Last year, I made a ton of goals for 2020. They ranged from improving my mental and physical health to traveling to a new country (lol). I think I speak for many people when I say this year felt less than conducive to achieving a lot of the goals we set for ourselves.
With the COVID vaccine starting to come out and a new, seemingly sane president on the horizon, I’m feeling way more optimistic for 2021. After graduating from my design program and getting some more experience under my belt, I’m excited to start thinking about my design goals for the upcoming year and how can I ensure reaching them. And since sharing your goals with others makes you more likely to reach them, here are my 2021 design goals!
Goal #1: Read at least 4 design books.
After graduating college, I was pretty burnt out on reading full books dedicated solely for educational purposes. I’ve been reading mainly for entertainment, as an escape. This year, I want focus on learning as much as I can about design with my reading choices.
My top picks this year are Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (which has been sitting on my shelf for a year!), Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, The Non-Designers Design Book by Robin Williams, and Hooked by Nir Eyal (which I read halfway and stopped a year ago 😬). Of course, there are seriously tons of great design books and I’m hoping to read way more than this.
Goal #2: Participate in another UX hackathon/competition.
This year’s design hackathon that I did with 2 of my old classmates was some of the most fun I’ve had designing all year. I think the hackathons are a great way to see what areas you are lacking in based on what parts took the longest/were the most frustrating. For me, I noticed how much I wanted to work on figuring out shortcuts in Figma & Sketch, as well as learn way more about Illustrator/Animate/Photoshop so I could have added more interesting microinteractions in our mobile app.
Goal #3: Complete 12 side projects (illustrations, web designs, mobile apps, etc.)
I want to complete a new project every month. This goal will be a little flexible in case I land on a project I obsess over and end up focusing on for a bit longer. I feel like I lean into projects that take a week or two, and then move onto the next interesting thing. This approach has been fun for a while, but I want to work on something in more detail that requires more time and complexity. If anyone is looking to collaborate on something, reach out!
Last year, I starting workingly heavily on my general front-end programming skills, focusing on HTML, CSS, and JS. I have worked on a couple projects and attended a programming bootcamp for a few weeks before moving into design, but I haven’t really delved into it more since then.
I would LOVE to focus more on developing my design skills outside of just UX/UI design (layouts, color, typography, etc.) and be able to actually design and build out a prototype using all of these skills. This goal feels like a tough one, and I’m sure I will have plenty of blog posts outlining my struggles with this one.
Goal #5: Secure my first official design role.
Not just freelance work, not just side projects for friends that I make a little money from, but a full-time professional design role with a design title and everything. While I did a lot of design work as a Product Manager, this year I want to earn a design role and title. Here’s hoping that reaching the other 4 goals helps out with this one!