Designing digital properties is more important than ever for business, and no matter what industry you are working in you should make sure that you understand it and know how to work with it. This is especially true if you are designing digital products because you need to know how to create those products in a way that will make them intuitive to use and good to look at. Designing digital properties such as blogs, websites or any online presence if you want to make the most of your marketing initiatives. In an age where every business is fighting for attention online and through other forms of media, creating an attractive and communicative design that is also technologically sound is one of the most effective ways to stand out.

Designing digital properties takes the right tech and the right approach

If your business is not intrinsically a design company though, then chances are, you may struggle when getting started and creating your layouts.Whether you are designing digital products or designing digital properties for your business, you’ll need to understand the digital space is key. Read on and we’ll look at some of the best ways you can give yourself the edge.

The Right Hardware and Software
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The first piece of advice for new companies that want to improve their online digital design work, is to make sure to invest in the very best hardware and software. Software wise, big organizations will of course be able to afford more cutting edge programs that come at a premium, and these can potentially give them the edge if you’re still working with MS Paint. Fortunately though, if you know where to look you’ll find a lot of free software out there that is in many cases just as capable – or even more powerful – than the ‘originals’.

A great example of this is GiMP. GiMP is a piece of photo/image editing software that takes a similar approach to PhotoShop and that can do most of the same things that the famous Adobe offering can. The only real difference? It’s free! Likewise ‘Open Office’ will give you Microsoft Office functionality with no fee, while Blender lets you create 3D files for a fraction of the cost.

Hardware wise it’s worth looking into which devices can give you the edge and help your designs to look more professional while saving you money. For instance, rather than use an expensive graphics tablet to input hand-drawn images, many companies can get by simply using a touchscreen hybrid slate computer with a stylus. This way you can draw straight onto the screen using software like SketchBook Pro.

Likewise why not look into getting a 3D CAD scanner? This way you can save hours building 3D models by instead scanning real objects in and getting the files automatically. Anything you can think to scan can that way become a 3D image for your designs.

The Right Approach
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While you evaluate and decide which software and what hardware to purchase, you also need to think about how you approach designing your digital properties, and here the right attitudes can make a huge difference.

When it comes to designing digital properties such as web design, or design for marketing material, remember that less is very often more. Minimalism is very in vogue at the moment – particularly on the net – and the good news for you is that this decreases the amount of work you can do. Instead of looking for design flourishes you can add to your pages and layouts, instead think about the design elements you can remove to create a cleaner and more modern looking page and to save yourself time!

This is something that ‘indie game’ developers do very well. They can’t compete with the 3D graphics of blockbuster games, so instead they choose quirky and minimalist graphics styles – working all in one colour, or using silhouettes, or going for a purposefully ‘retro’ appearance. It’s easier for them, but actually just as eye-catching.

Finally, don’t be afraid to outsource. While it’s nice to do things yourself where possible, think about the time factor and obviously the end result. If there is an outside resource that designs digital properties more efficiently, at a value cost, then it’s only vanity to do it yourself.