TEACH YOURSELF NEW SKILLS
Luke and Jody share their tips for smoothly introducing new technologies into projects
1. Use research time wisely
While you can’t spend hours of client-billable time on teaching yourself something new, there is scope to do some learning on the job. “There’s always a period at the start of a project where you are testing and coming up with ideas,” says Jody. “In that period of time we will do that experimenting.” At this point, try to get some idea of the scale of the new process, and make the call if it’s something you can realistically take on yourselves, or if you need to outsource it.
2. Get help from experts
If you’re working within an agency where there are people with the skills you need, take advantage of that fact. “Because we have people that are working in so many different fields, there will always be somebody that goes ‘I know somebody that can do that level of type refinement; I know somebody that knows that area of coding…” says Jody.
“We’re not scared to realise our limits and reach out for help and collaborate,” adds Luke.
3. Don’t worry about knowledge gaps
When you’re picking up a new technology or tool, don’t try and become an expert from the start. “We learn enough stuff to allow us to make that one thing,” says Jody. “We don’t necessarily learn the entirety of it. You do it enough times and you learn all the bits inbetween eventually, and you become better in whatever language or technology.”
4. Work out the possibilities
A key aspect – especially if you’re in charge of other designers – is to be able to understand how a new tool or techology might slot into a project. “A lot of our learning is learning to the level at which we understand possibilities within a medium, as opposed to actually being able to do every single bit of it ourselves,” says Luke. “It’s understanding it so you understand what the limitations and the opportunities are,” adds Jody.