New to design? I never want to see you start a design without these two elements in place

If you’re new to design – maybe you’ve gone through a UX / Design bootcamp, maybe you’re coming from a illustration or fine arts background, here’s the one thing you need to know when starting as a digital / user experience / layout / UI / product / interaction/ whatever designer.

Never, ever start a design without two things in place:

  • A pixel grid – with larger blocks and sub-divisions (say 100px block with 10 sub-divisions)
  • A column layout – whether this is 1 column for mobile and 12 for desktop and 24 columns for larger monitors – you should NEVER be making UI design outside of a gridded layout system

Simply put, no design leader should consider any Jr. hire if they aren’t designing on a grid and columns. If you aren’t designing on these systems, then you don’t understand being a visual communicator. First and foremost, any designer is a communicator working in a visual medium to communicate ideas about solutions to problems.

Making designs on a grid helps the design be neat, more easily implemented and helps visual communication in general. We’re not artists – we’re problem solvers.

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