Ask DN: What are your goals as a designer in 2016?

almost 8 years ago from , Frontend Software Engineer

I know there's already been a post like this, but I want to find out about this community's goals a bit deeper than what they want to learn.

Here are some things I'd love to hear about:

  • Where do you want to go career-wise?
  • What are some projects you'd like to work on?
  • How much more money would you like to make?
  • What new hobbies outside of your industry would you like to try? (id would be learning how to do maintenance on my car for me).
  • What new design-related hobbies would you like to try?

Of course, you don't have to answer every single one of these, just answer what you're comfortable with! :)


  • Lincoln FurrowLincoln Furrow, almost 8 years ago

    Make more, judge less.

    19 points
  • Diana Lopez, almost 8 years ago
    • 150k as a freelancer
    • Learn how to develop apps in Swift
    • Outsource as much non-thinky work as possible
    • Art projects!
    17 points
    • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, almost 8 years ago

      @Diana - have you thought about how you'd outsource (or where you'd begin looking?) I'm actually thinking about the same stuff but have nooooo clue on where to begin to outsource the easy/production type stuff.

      1 point
    • Mike Wilson, almost 8 years ago

      These were pretty much my goals for 2015 (although swap swift for the MEAN stack). I achieved the financial ones, but none of the the others...haha

      My rate this year was around $125/hr for most projects and I was able to do 160-170k (East coast big city and I also have a family so it's not as much as it sounds), I'd recommend a similar rate or higher if you want to safely break 150k. I was able to stay around 70-75% billable for the year doing all the administrative stuff myself and taking 4 weeks of vacation. I don't imagine being able to break 70% billable for my time based on the amount of calls I get from current clients.

      My efforts to hire someone to help with administrative work and some of the more tedious design/dev work were unsuccessful, it ended up being much more work than it was worth being that my revenue is so low. I determined (at least for me) it really only makes sense to hire somebody if you are doing 300-400k or more in revenue. Talked to a buddy in finance and the average digital agency should be doing around 200k in revenue per employee to stay healthy with the overhead required to grow.

      I didn't have time to do any side projects or really learn anything since freelancing took up most of my time. I'm trying this year to carve out more time for professional development. It's hard to stay motivated after working a 10 hour day so I'll be moving rates to $150/hr (I've been at 125 for a while now). That may cause some smaller clients to drop out, however it will also allow me more free time without reducing revenue.

      2 points
      • Adam Rasheed, almost 8 years ago

        Congrats on the success! I love that you're increasing your pricing, which filters out the low-paying (and generally high-headache) clients all while keep your revenue the same.

        Couple of questions:

        • Have you tried project-based or value-based pricing? If so, how has it worked out for you?

        • What type of clientele do you serve and how do you market to them?

        0 points
  • Robert MapleRobert Maple, almost 8 years ago

    • Earn $6000000 freelancing. • Build an app more popular than Facebook + YouTube combined × 10 • Do 5000 daily UI challenges. A day.

    15 points
  • George Kedenburg IIIGeorge Kedenburg III, almost 8 years ago

    learn to code

    8 points
  • Daniel CondraDaniel Condra, almost 8 years ago
    1. Start a creative community for youth in my area.
    2. Start using my creative skills to earn a little money.
    3. Join my church's creative arts team as a designer.
    5 points
  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    • Finish my book about The real cost of Bad UX

    • Create and publish an app

    • Get deeper into code

    • Take a UX class

    4 points
  • Alexandre Soares, almost 8 years ago
    • Graduate
    • Learn Sketch
    • Quit my job in the middle of the year to get my portfolio done pretty damn well
    • Study UI/UX Design as hard as i can
    • Get a proposal to work at Canada (So i can immigrate)
    • Create a great Youtube channel about Design.
    • Get a internship as graphic designer in the studio called Avocado in my city.
    4 points
  • Nguyen Le, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )
    1. Career wise continue doing work that I believe in and have fun doing it.
    2. Launch my first product
    3. Aiming for $300k-$500k freelance + product launch income.
    4. About to be a father - so not a hobby per se but my energy will be devoted to my wife and son :)
    5. Keep getting better at prototyping tools such as principle and pixate. Improve on my teaching skills on video.

    Fun questions :)

    3 points
  • Marcus H, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )
    1. I've only been doing UI design since February (for money) and for now I just want to do more of the same and carry on improving. I have a ton of video courses and books to read so working through them should hopefully improve me in many aspects. Also I want to complete a V2 of my portfolio midway through the year and I think I'll be using Semplice, that way I'll be in complete control of my site and won't need to rely on a developer if I want to make changes.

    2. I've found I really enjoy working on apps so I'd like my projects for 2016 to be mostly apps with a smattering of landing pages/websites.

    3. I started out at $20/hour in February and have worked my way to $35/hour, getting to $50/hour by this time next year would be very cool. I managed to save around $15k this year so being able to make an additional $25k in 2016 would be a great achievement for me.

    4. Not really a hobby per-say but I want to get a handle on my health and start a regular routine of exercising because I've been on-off for years and never been consistent.

    5. I'd love to be able to animate (transitions etc) the app interfaces I design so I want to learn how to use an app like Principle or Flinto.

    2 points
  • James Young, almost 8 years ago

    Double the turnover of our Cutting Edge Knives side business again (we've doubled it year on year for 4 years now) by doing more experiments on the design, how we run the business etc and also doing some more talks about the project.

    Get clients to appreciate and sign off on a larger percentage of project budgets being used for actual testing.

    2 points
  • Ryan BibbRyan Bibb, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )
    • Release my website for support and information for young sufferers of Arthritis (working with 2 of the biggest arthritis charities in the UK!)
    • Develop my back-end development skills (not too sure on what/how though - Udemy possibly)
    • Hit £30k freelancing
    2 points
  • Austin PriceAustin Price, almost 8 years ago
    • Improve my process
    • Learn more JS
    • Focus more on interactions
    1 point
  • Taj Rahman, almost 8 years ago
    • Continue learning JavaScript & Ruby
    • Make a web app using JS or Ruby and ship it. Doesn't matter if it's really simple.
    • Start work as an intern UX designer
    • Doodle everyday
    • Learn photography
    1 point
  • Anna IurchenkoAnna Iurchenko, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )
    1. To find reliable freelancers to whom I can entrust some parts of my projects (illustrations, motion designs and icons)
    2. To get more practice in interaction design, including learning CoffeeScript
    3. To get more experience in design research and usability testing
    4. To launch online sketching courses
    5. To do more sketching and drawing just for fun

    Great questions! :)

    1 point
  • Christopher DavisChristopher Davis, almost 8 years ago

    Oh, good idea.

    1. Quit my job at a local agency and work as a product designer at an established company.
    2. Learn Swift and ship at least two apps.
    3. Document the process of learning Swift, and share with the world.
    4. Make $180k. Make the equivalent next year. Become an accredited investor.
    5. Spend more time cooking.
    6. Spend more time saving.
    1 point
  • Adam Rasheed, almost 8 years ago
    • I want to work as a designer part-time at an agency while consulting the rest of the time (in-between classes as I'm still in school).
    • I'd like to work on designing a app for a company, and create a course on Sketch for beginners.
    • I'd like to hit an income if $35k after taxes from my part-time job + consulting.
    • I'd like to learn how to maintain my car (oil change, etc.).
    • I'd like to learn hand-lettering.
    • Bonus: I want to reach 2,500 subscribers on my YouTube channel by the fall of 2016.
    1 point
  • Jahit JJahit J, almost 8 years ago
    1. Improve my design skill set
    2. Finish coding my hybrid application in JavaScript
    3. Design everything I can given by my manager at work.
    4. Get a better earning salary hopefully 30k around Oct 2016
    5. Electronic engineering
    6. Design a cute robot for carpet cleaning.
    1 point
  • Ian De DobbelaereIan De Dobbelaere, almost 8 years ago
    • More jobs and finding a mentor and oh yeah working on my web app ofc :D
    • always loved art, so currently i wanna get more jobs from art galleries (have a meeting tomorrow about it ). Also wanna work together with some startups.
    • If could make 5K of freelance work this year as a student i'll be happy.
    • Wanna do some big collage art canvas so stocking up on physical books from thrift shops to make that possible, and ofc wanna read more about psychology, philosophy and science.
    • Wanna learn how to develop apps with swift.
    1 point
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, almost 8 years ago

    I want to start to think more in process, instead of product. I wanna go back to the basics, where I was creating to create something meaningful, instead of looking for something that can get attention and can be turned into money.

    I wanna find a way as a designer, to stay authentic, while everyone else loves the idea to fall into the thick soup of unoriginal, profit-oriented, product-based thingilyrificcstergramomatic-startup-eritis.

    1 point
    • Noah Riddle, almost 8 years ago

      Honestly that's my goal, to design and develop something that isn't just for the betterment of myself but of everyone around me. I actually have a idea as to what I want to do. Id love to hear your advice

      1 point
  • Vasil EnchevVasil Enchev, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )
    • Popularize the product I launched this year so I can start making money from it
    • Launch two new products
    • I would love to start prototyping more. I am even thinking of prototype everything I desgin so I get used to it.

    It feels good to ask my self this questions, Thanks!

    1 point
  • n keylen keyle, almost 8 years ago

    I'd love to make a living out of my art or crafts. That's as likely as getting a real hoverboard or personal jetpack. So any of them would do.

    1 point
  • Mark JenkinsMark Jenkins, almost 8 years ago

    Learn more. Share more. Speak at events more.

    I'd really like to compile my writing into a book of sorts too.

    Good idea for a post, good to hear what everyone else wants to get up to

    0 points
  • Shane McCleeryShane McCleery, almost 8 years ago

    Get a 3D printer.

    0 points
  • Ben WarmuthBen Warmuth, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Almost all of my goals as a designer are completely unrelated to design as I don't do much, if any, design work outside of my day to day UX/web design job (I don't freelance or whatever).

    So, realistically:

    • I plan to dig back into writing a novel.
    • Move to Austin, assuming I can find a job there.
    • Hang out with my friends a little more often.
    • Play more games of the board and console/PC variety.
    • I might redesign my portfolio at some point.
    0 points
  • Sandro P, almost 8 years ago
    • I'm happy with the direction my career is in. I'd love to earn more (who wouldn't?), though.
    • I'm hoping to have some more time to work on side projects, this year. There's an interesting app idea in the works that I would love to bring to market soon.
    • Getting into six figures would be great, but very unlikely. There's no immediate need for that much money here in Portugal, so that's fine (for now).
    • I'd love to work on a proper video game, from concept to launch, and write a bit more. Learning how to do maintenance on my car would be awesome, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
    • This year I'll probably try to improve my coding skills, especially Javascript. Other than that, I hope to be able to do a lot more motion graphics and illustration, and hopefully have some pieces available for sale.
    0 points
  • Bjarke DaugaardBjarke Daugaard, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Maybe a bit atypical area of design but I would like to get 50 million hits on my gifs on Reddit and Imgur (80% increase from this year)

    0 points
  • Hanu ManHanu Man, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    My primary goal is build and design a new (approach) education online plataform!

    0 points