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Insights for Entrepreneurs

Teach Yourself the Basics of Design (With Resources!)

Design is an invaluable skill for communicating your big ideas. Think about it: it makes a huge impact when someone presents a well-organized and engaging PowerPoint instead of using default fonts and templates. Design influences conversion optimization, user experience, branding, and more. Face it– design is important.

What’s more is that great designers are expensive. They’re also in demand because they’re so tough to find and everyone’s looking. By becoming a great designer yourself, you’ll be empowered to execute your vision directly.

So where do you start? With this blog post, of course!

Here are 6 resources to help you become the next design aficionado!

1. 10 Reasons Why Founders Should Learn Design

If you’re not yet convinced that you’re ready to take the reins on design, start with this blog post by Laura Klein, UX designer. She’ll walk you through 10 good reasons why entrepreneurs should learn design. And if you’re convinced, you can check out her book. According to Klein, founders know their products and customers better than anybody, so learning how to to design is a natural next step.

2. Learn the Basics of Design This Weekend

You’re not going to be an expert surfer before testing the waters first. This Lifehacker post will introduce you to basic design elements including points, lines, and shapes as well as how the color wheel works. The post also helps you choose software and tutorials that align with your needs and interests.

3. How to Become a Designer Without Going to Design School

If you’re in it for the long-haul (which you should be), you should check out this post. The author, Karen X. Cheng, will walk you through a step-by-step guide to teaching yourself design. Even if your experience level is 0, this guide will ramp you up. Be prepared for practice and patience.

4. Is There a Science to Picking Colors that Work Well or Is It Just Subjective?

Long story short, the answer to this question is yes. On both fronts, the answer is yes. There is a science and a sociology. They’re both intertwined. If you’re confused about colors, read this discussion, and you’ll have exponentially more confidence in your next design judgment call.

5. General Assembly’s UX Classes

General Assembly is a new startup that hosts classes in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities. You can sign up for classes in topics ranging from graphic design to marketing, startup finances, and UX. Classes are taught by industry experts and are relatively low cost at under $100 a lecture.

6. How can one learn to become an expert UI/UX designer?

The Quora crowd weighs in once again. If you’re interested in mastering your UX design skills, here are 7 different perspectives from your peers who’ve been there too. This post will connect you to a wealth of behavioral and skill-building techniques to complement any other guides you may be following.

Final Inspiration: Learn to Dance in a Year

What does this video have to do with design? Very little, except that the video’s creator (who also wrote blog post #3 on this list), taught herself to become an amazing dancer in a year. Watch the video to see her progression. No matter your intended specialty, you can go from zero to expert in a year too.

What have you learned about design? Do you think it’s possible to learn the basics fast?