At Radii, we're curious folk, always finding cool things (sites), taking them apart and watching the gears spin (testing code) and putting them back together again (track changes). Especially in an industry that is continually evolving, we're constantly finding ourselves throttled by the innovations made out there on the web. Sometimes we're just thrilled to look back and see our own contributions. Every project teaches us something new; even a decade-old skill can be seen with a new perspective that lends us to create with a more effective frame of mind.
At the end of the day, every team member here at Radii is evolving in their skills, pushing the limits and range of their abilities. We're creating sites on the edge of responsive design, we're putting the latest SEO best practices into use, we're trying new techniques for interactive e-cards. We teach each other and learn from each other's experience. But as much as it's the spark of curiosity that keeps us inspired, it's caffeine and elbow-grease that keeps us skilled.
Of course, it's not just enough to bang your fingers against the keyboard and hope that something useful (or even good) will come out. You need a plan, a perverbial "road map." Here's our process of taking inspiration and turning it into skill.
1. Copy it
They say everything is a remix. From the time we're infants (and biologically much earlier than that), we learn by copying and absorbing the information around us. Take your inspiration and try to copy it. You'll learn infinitely more about it by attempting to recreate it than would you by merely staring or through the occasional poke.
2. Break it
You've got to get your hands dirty. You've got to break your app, erase your words, find ways for your creation to be destroyed. Find what makes it strong and what makes it weak. Learn these things intimately. Knowing these things will help you understand what happens when things go wrong (and they will) and will help you create according to your priorities.
3. Reassemble it
Now you can refine and redefine. Include other features, exclude old features. Build, amalgamate. It will be stronger. This is where you start to innovate and use your knowledge.
4. Practice it
Skill isn't skill without practice. Keep at it. It's that simple.
Need some inspiration to help you get going?
Here's some of the sites we've seen lately that really blew our snow boots off.
Remember, inspiration comes from anywhere. Perservere. The skills will come.