A small update on what’s been going on + discovering UI design

Winter is almost over which means spring is on its way with lots of positive energies. Even though I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked, I’ve kept busy with bits of new projects and ideas. My goal this year is to be able to write a blog post at least once a week and we’re only at the end of February so the procrastinator in me will say “There’s still time”. But in all seriousness, I am working towards achieving that goal among others.

It’s a bit hard to keep up with a day job, a long distance relationship, planning my first vacation on my own and staying active with posting on the blog, on my Facebook page and on Twitter. Not to mention -still- having to finish those web design and development courses I’ve been beating myself around to do and planning for moving away from home, to a different country, by the end of the summer. I don’t think I’ve ever been on so many deadlines in my life but it keeps me busy, it keeps my anxiety at bay and my mind active in a good and much more productive way than before.

I’m good at making plans and coming up with ideas. I am also good at slacking and procrastinating. So you see the problem here. Sometimes I feel like there are not enough hours in a day to be able to do everything I put my mind to, because I want to do a lot of things. My job doesn’t give me much freedom or opportunities in terms of graphic design so I have to do it in my spare time. And it’s not that I have to do it but I want to do it because I love it.

ux_design_and_update_2

In the past two weeks I discovered UX and UI design and I got so drawn into it that I started reading up every article I can find, looking up resources and tutorials, I even went out of my way to install a virtual copy of a Mac OSX just to be able to run Adobe “XD” with the full features – because the Windows version is way too limited if you ask me. That didn’t seem to work as I wanted so I looked for free alternatives. Not many good ones I’m afraid but I did find one that, to me, seemed like the best option: Figma. I’m not going to get into much detail about it because I want to save it up for a future article about UX/UI design apps but all I can say at this moment is that Figma is the closest alternative to Adobe “XD” I could find. And it’s awesome.

Staying on the UX/UI design theme, in my “desperation” to find the perfect design environment I figured, since I’ve been using Adobe Illustrator for the majority of my graphic design projects, why not try and use it for UI design as well?

So I managed to turn it into a somewhat “Experience Design rip-off” (not sure you can call it a rip-off if it belongs to the same company) and the results were pretty okay-ish. About halfway through the design process of an app I was working on I was so caught up into it that I genuinely thought I was working in Adobe “XD”. Until I couldn’t find the gradient tool and realized “Oh wait, Windows doesn’t have that yet”. The whole process was a bit tedious at points and even hectic, especially the grid system. Turns out I needed more panels than I initially thought, considering I was trying to strip off the workspace of as much clutter as possible and give it the sleek, minimal look “XD” has. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. Apart from the short moment of believing I was working in Adobe XD, you can even say it wasn’t the best experience (teh-heh).

Until Adobe will release updates with the full features of “XD”, I will just have to make the most out of Figma and pen and paper. And to keep it short, I will end here with the sudden realization that I haven’t lit a single scented candle this whole winter, even though I regularly reminded myself I need to buy one (or two or three).

What do you guys do when you have to juggle between a lot of things at once? How do you stay organized, consistent and positive about it? I would love to read your advice.

Until next time, set the skies afire!
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