We recently attended a free webinar put on by NuSchool, which is an awesome resource for freelance designers. If that’s you, we highly recommend checking them out, as well as the classes they offer. In the presentation, Lior, Co-Founder of NuSchool, talked about how continually learning new skills directly translates into building your value as a professional. Smart guy, hey?

At one point, Lior had us take a post-it note and write down a new skill we wanted to learn. He then told us to post it somewhere on or near our desk as a reminder. After that, he told us to start learning that skill in the next month. Plain and simple. Because what is really holding us back besides ourselves, right?

So that me got me thinking. Thinking about what I’m good at, and what I still want to be good at. I’m going to write this through and through as a designer, but really the concept can be paralleled to any industry. I think it’s pretty fair to say that it’s always a good idea to stay current in your field, but in the hustle and bustle of day to day tasks, sometimes there are specialty skills that get tossed to the wayside. And if you’re anything like me, you keep telling yourself and co-workers how much you really NEED to get in and learn that program, but then you never frickin’ do it. Intent with no execution. It’s time for me to just do the dang thing already!

So I took a scroll through the app list in my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and it became clear that there a handful of tools that I’m not using, and some I’ve never even heard of (shame!). Sure, some of them are probably programs that I won’t end up using, but I will never know if I don’t explore them first. In my exploration, one of the apps that caught my attention was Adobe XD (or “Project Comet”). I’ve never used it, so please be forgiving if I don’t explain it to its fullest extent, but what I got out of it was that it’s a UX focused program. So it helps web designers scale back and focus on the user experience of the websites they’re building. They even offer an interactive prototype feature, where we can share and send a link to our clients for review. More to come as we dig in and learn about the program, but if it’s promising, we’ll be sure to blog a review with our favorite features and all we’ve learned.

Here at Streamline Jacks, we are web designers, so our goal is always to create aesthetically pleasing websites. Not to say that we don’t consider and factor the flow and user experience, but I think it’s time that I take a step back and really give UX design a little more time and effort. So here it goes. I’m going to start the process of learning a new skill over the month of June: UX design and Adobe XD. I’ve put it out there, and now you can all hold me accountable for it.

What do you want to learn that will make you better at what you do? What new skill will increase your value in your everyday job and life? Comment and share it, and I’ll be sure to hold you accountable too. Let’s get smart(er)!