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Design Interview with Joseph Berry
Joseph Kobal

In my "Design Interview" series, I talked to the Award Winning Multidisciplinary Experience Designer from London, Joseph Berry.

Design Interview with Joseph Berry
Joseph Kobal

Wellcome message

Hello and welcome. My name is Joseph Berry, freelance experience designer with over a decades worth of experience working with a number of global brands and industries. I've had a very fortunate career of being able to work across all these different types of brands. But it's taken time and it's been a journey that has progressed and gradually, gradually got better as I get to the point where I am at today. So that's the first thing that I want you to think about that this journey is going to change. There is going to be things that you're going to have to learn and you're going to have to practice. That's the most important thing, and it's a long, long journey and you're always learning and you're always growing.

In today's Q&A questions that I've been given, I'm gonna be talking to you about some things that I'm interested about design, why I got into design, how we can become better Webflow developers, the change that you may need to make from being a designer into a Webflow developer, and how we can really elevate our designs and products through Webflow.

So I hope you enjoy this and I'll see you soon. Thank you.

[Joseph Kobal]: What inspired you to become a designer?

[Joseph Berry]:

So what inspired me to become a designer? I think for me it really started off from a very, very early age, when I was at school. I was always super interested in art and graphics and design, and this was something that I felt was my destiny. I always enjoyed it. It was my favorite classes in school. I wasn't very academic, I didn't like maths, I didn't like English and I didn't like science. 

So I just had this natural ability with I was very creative person and that was really the initial point that spurred me on to become adesigner. I know obviously I didn't know what type of design, I didn't know whether I was gonna be an artist, I didn't know where I was gonna be a graphic designer. Things are a little bit different when I was at school. It was obviously some some years ago now and and the the landscape at that time wasn't so digitilized, but I always knew it was going to be.

In that space and it was just until I started to progress and move forward. As I went to UNI and I went to college and I started doing graphic design and more traditional formats, I really started to understand whereI wanted to go. I just didn't know exactly where. And by chance I fell into my first job being a kind of web designer in in essence.

What is my favorite part about design and what do I most love about it? I think being free and creative to. Create your own vision and show your vision. And I think it's such a free form where we can, you know, do whatever we want, explore however we want and at the end we create something that is amazing. I think that is the beauty of design that is all in here and how we translate that into the mediums that we're working in I find super, superexciting.

[Joseph Kobal]: What is your opinion on Webflow and its impact on creating digital products?

[Joseph Berry]:

So what do I think of Webflow and its impact on creating digital products? Well, simply, Webflow is amazing. I think that's it. It isjust amazing. It's such a brilliant tool. And if you're thinking about getting into Webflow, do it. That's as simple and short and sweet as I could say it. How do I think it's impacting digital products? I think it's allowing the designer to be more free, more creative.

And making action instantly. That is the beautiful thing about Webflow is that you can go from design to development super seamlessly and you can take control.

[Joseph Kobal]: What are the benefits of using Webflow?

[Joseph Berry]:

So what are the benefits of using Webflow? And I think thelist here is really endless. But for me, Webflow has really taught me the understanding of HTML, CSS, animation and interaction. It's also made me a better designer. I'm really understanding the design choices that I'm making, how they work responsively, and really getting into the details. I think when you start to explore being a designer and a Webflow Developer, you really change the way that you think and you approach your work and I think this makes us all better digital designers. I think this is the most important thing if you wanna be a good web designer is you really need to understand under the hood let's say.

I started from trying to learn HTML and CSS. I got OK at it and and I and I, you know, got a good understanding for it. But Webflow really helped me elevate that and it put it into a context which was more visual for someone that's visual like me and I think it's just a no brainer. It is really a no-brainer in becoming the best digital designer, web designer, UX/UI designer, whatever you want to be in that space is going to help massively.

[Joseph Kobal]: How do you think of ideas? Tell us about your design process

[Joseph Berry]:

So how do I think of ideas and how do I prepare from structuring, from design to Webflow? And I think in my last question, there's definitely some points in there that are touching upon this. I think when we get into this space and when we're working from being a UX, UI, digital designer, how do we translate this into web. And I think again, this is going to come with practice and understanding the fundamental semantics, how you build out stuff.

And that's only going to come with practice. So once we start to learn and understand the mechanics and that transitioning point from going from design to build, we will then start to make better design and build choices early on. We will start to think about these things before we even get into build. Now creating ideas again for me is all about kind of exploring the web and looking outside of the box and seeing what is available.

To us, through many different resources, building up ideas, building up design patterns, building up things that work and really having a visual arsenal inside of your head where you can start to lay this stuff down and really create these really cool ideas. Having references, exploring websites as I said and using this as ammunition to build up your ideas, this will hopefully give you the impetus to start to create fantastic design and great experiences inside of Webflow. But it takes practice and it's going to take time, so always remember that it's a gradual, step-by-step process as you start to become a better designer and a better developer.

[Joseph Kobal]: How do you structure your design?

[Joseph Berry]:

So how do I structure my projects and how do I set myself upfor success? I think when we're in design, I think it's about keeping your ideas concise, looking at the consistency of the design, your type, your colors, your layouts, how you can see modules or design patterns building up is really important, and then how we translate that into Webflow. I think we need a good understanding of semantics, making sure that we have good understanding of structure and semantics. Always starting off with a style guide, building out your fonts, your font sizes, building out your color swatches, building out buttons and any other elements that you feel are going to help you in building a consistent product. Now when we get inside of Webflow, as I said, structure is going to be a key part in this and really understanding how we can write good classing systems, how we can keep our code as clean as possible, not overusing or over creating CSS.

Again, being and approaching this in a systematic way and having some sort of process of how we can reuse modules, how we can adapt modules rather than creating brand new modules. So it's really thinking about your structure, it's really thinking about the system, and it's really thinking about how you can reuse, redevelop, reengineer certain elements. And hopefully this gives you a little insight of how you can set up your projects a little bit better.

[Joseph Kobal]: How can designers create an engaging and meaningful design experience inside of Webflow?

[Joseph Berry]:

So how do we create exciting, meaningful, and engaging experiences inside of Webflow? I think we have to go to some principles, and some principles for me lie across logic, reason and purpose.

Whatever you're designing, whatever you're doing, however you're putting things together, try and always question that. Question the logic, question the reason, question the purpose. Creating digitally experiences with this in mind is going to help you create something that is organic, natural and authentic.

The problem I think sometimes with the web is we get all excited about all of these fancy movements and all of these fancy animations and interactions, but they don't really serve a purpose. They actually overconfuse and dominate the experience itself. Let's think about the actual purpose of the website. If it's an ecommerce website, maybe the animation and interaction is more sophisticated. It doesn't need to be so over the top. If we've got something that's a little bit more creative, yes, that's exactly when we can start to use some more elaborate animations and interactions. But try and add purpose to all of it if it's to suggest or enhance or make that experience feel a little bit more exciting, but don't overuse it.

One word my boss always used to say to me is superfluous. Superfluous means. Is it needed? Questioning yourself? Is that needed? Does it make it better? Does it improve the experience? Or does it hinder that experience and be really tough on making them decisions? Don't follow what everyone else does and don't just do things for the sake of doing it, do it because it has logic, purpose and reason.

[Joseph Kobal]: What three tips would you give to Ukrainian designers who are starting out with Webflow?

[Joseph Berry]:

So my three pieces of advice for my friends in Ukrainestarting their Webflow journey is this.

  1. Webflow does have a little bit of a steep learning curve, so I would suggest highly recommend getting yourself familiarized with the properties of HTML and CSS. This is going to make you understand Webflow a lot better and a lot easier and it might hopefully speed up that learning curve. That would be my first thing.
  2. My second thing would be practice, practice, practice, practice. Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes improvement. So always remember that when you're doing this that you know it's gonna take time, but you gotta practice. You gotta try things. You get a little ideas, get it down, try it. Explore. It doesn't matter if you don't get it right. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work. That's the whole point of the process of getting better.
  3. And my final thing would be patience. It's gonna take time to get to the level of where you want to be is going to take time, and it's trying to focus on yourself and what you're doing and focus on that progression. That's why you gotta have pace, patience, and don't be looking at people that are 510 years in front of you and putting yourself down because you need to build yourself to that level and in five years time you're going to be at that level. If you keep practicing, you keep having patience. And you keep trying things. So that's what I would say. Hopefully that helps.

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