Web Designer Tip: Research in the Real World
Freelance Web Designers sometimes don’t get out much, I admit just last year my typical research technique was to check out the competitors websites and study the sector from the online comforts of Wikipedia. You should still use websites for research but why not include a further myriad of offline bricks and mortar resources in the real world.
Libraries & Books
I have recently re-registered with my local Library after a long absence. The library has four floors of books and reference material, a great resource for researching.
There’s something special about books; they have a feel and a smell maybe even a soul.You don’t get this feeling with web pages and I guarantee for art and design you’ll find you’ll enjoy the illustrations much more in print.
When working on larger projects my research will sometimes allow me to take a afternoon trip to get hands on with the sector, it’s customers, or some art history in the flesh.
I have taken trips to factories; shops, landscapes, castles, armouries, vineyards, and art collections.
Another great method of researching is networking. Talking to other business contacts in the same sector as your project can give you a great understanding, maybe even the inside scoop on something happening in their sector.
I also make time to ask family and friends about a subject – it’s amazing what experience your elder family members may have or who they know who could help you.
It’s Good to be Social
Researching in the real world allows me some social time away from the PC and a hands on approach to my work that keeps me engaged and happy.