How content creation is becoming a full-time job for designers

2021 was the year that saw many subscription-based tools being realized for content creators on various social media platforms. The timing makes sense as people look for new avenues to make money within struggling economies. Social media platforms often look desirable whether they’re looking to increase their income, better protect themselves if their primary job is at risk, or escape a rigid 9 to 5 job.

Heading over to the design industry and the mood seems similar. There’s been an uptick in designers trying to launch online courses and paid UX communities, alongside creating and trying to sell NFTS and UI kits. When you think about it, professionals within the design industry have the skillset needed to achieve a side hustle. We work all day long building brands and turning leads into conversions.

Contrary to what some may believe, the rise in paid subscriptions can benefit the design industry. With more UX-related content being created, developing design skills can be achieved easier. Also, as experts are financially compensated for making content, the overall quality is likely extremely good.

So, how do designers achieve social media success?

Understanding the numbers

It’s often that clients are fixated on short-term metrics in the design industry. This is usually how many view metrics relating to online presence too. As a result, feeds are flooded with content to ensure engagement is high. This can lead to new influencers believing that having a large following is the same as having a career that’s successful, and it’s not far from the truth.

Allocating resources

 It’s no secret that time, money, and attention that can be given to content creation is limited, so careful consideration must be made to use this time wisely. To reduce the amount of burnout that can occur it’s recommended to take a step back and pick things up at a later date.

Community developments

With paid subscriptions rising in popularity year after year, content creators are tasked with creating a community that provides positive benefits. Therefore, content needs to focus on high amounts of research (giving the sources credit) to provide value to readers. This means it shouldn’t be solely aimed at reaching the masses.

Give us a like if you’re on board or a share if you have an opposing view

 It’s often argued that design polls that are common on social media do not provide much value, as they’re a little shallow and lack some context. However, they work very well for engagement, exactly what they were intended for.

Concluding thoughts

 It’s likely that this trend will continue with designers flocking to the profitable world of social media. Skills and knowledge can be passed on from experienced designers to newbies, passing the torch, so to speak. This should help push advancements in the industry, providing clients with a better service at competitive prices.

At Radiant, we are leading the way with experienced UX designers that ensure businesses thrive online. Connect with us to learn more!

 


Atomic Design 101: Creating Structured Design Systems

Atomic Design is a design system created by Brad Frost and inspired by chemistry. It is a modular system founded on the principle that a whole system can be subdivided into smaller parts (modules) that can be independently created, replaced, modified, or exchanged with other smaller parts or across different systems. It is a methodology that has helped develop modern, structured design systems capable of evolving and incorporating the input of various designers. Atomic Design is an interesting topic if you are looking to improve the way you design, which is why we’ve created this brief overview to help you understand how it all works. 

Atomic Design: Atoms, Molecules, and Organisms

As mentioned earlier, this modular system is inspired by chemistry. When you studied chemistry at school, you probably learned (but you may have forgotten by now!) that atomic elements combine to make molecules. In turn, molecules combine with other molecules and atoms to create organisms. Organisms combine with atoms, molecules, and other organisms to create even more complex structures.

Here’s a quick chemistry refresher:

  • Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything. All matter consists of atoms, the smallest functional unit of ordinary matter. Each element has unique properties and cannot be reduced further without losing its chemical meaning. As a result, they often must be combined with other factors to create sense.
  • Molecules are formed when two or more atoms are held together by chemical bonds. Molecules have their purpose and are slightly more complex than an atom. A design system generally has more than one function or purpose. 
  • Organisms combine molecules and atoms (and sometimes other microorganisms). Organisms tend to be much more complex, larger in size, and in a design system, are multi-functional elements. 

This is a very simplified version of the chemical composition of the universe, but it should help you understand the basic principles behind Atomic Design. Everything can be broken down into atoms, and subsequently, anything can be built by combining any variety of particles. It is more of a mental model than a consistent linear process and is a way to think creatively and methodically design. 

How do you create a design system using atomic design?

The Atomic Design framework can inform the way you think about design and the practical steps you take to implement designs. Using the chemical hierarchy we’ve just highlighted, Atom Design functions via five stages, in the following order:

  • Atoms - Labels, buttons, inputs, etc.
  • Molecules - Tangible UI elements such as search forms, survey forms, list forms, etc.
  • Organisms - When atoms and molecules combine to create complex structures such as headers or form entry modals
  • Templates - Page-level objects that solidify the content structure, such as a dashboard, landing page, or login screen
  • Pages - Templates with specific content that represent the final product

As mentioned, Atomic Design is a mental model. Therefore, it is essential to see all UI elements as parts of a whole. However, only atoms can stand on their own. Therefore, all molecules, organisms, templates must be smaller components. The best way to start using the atomic design system is by thinking about all of the basic needs for your website and understanding which essential components you’ll need to create your more significant design elements, such as: 

  • Labels
  • Iconography
  • Buttons
  • Interactive Elements (Checkboxes, switches, radio buttons, etc.)
  • Typography
  • Form Fields

Am I limited to creating my designs using only the atomic design system?

Remember, Atomic Design is a modular system. This means that not every single UI element you create needs to be part of the design system; only the UI element components need to originate from the design system. If a new atom needs to be created for a molecule or organism, you should work with the owner of your design library to be added to the design system officially. There is room for expression within the atomic design system, as it is a system of thinking that encourages and rewards experimentation. Furthermore, once you have a library of UI elements, there are so many variations to experiment with that it is unlikely you will feel limited in any way.

When should I consider creating/adding a new element to the design system?

It would help if you considered creating or adding a new element when you have used the same few elements multiple times on multiple projects. One of the ways you can make sustainable progress to your design system, and prevent it from growing stale, is by adding elements that force you to innovate and come up with exciting ideas.

Equally, you can create new UI elements with pre-existing atomic elements and store these new UI elements locally in your design file. You don’t have to start from scratch every time. The atomic design system also ensures that you have solid foundational elements in your designs to create reliable and robust designs.

To learn more about creating structured design systems, feel free to contact our team of UI and UX experts.