Side projects are a natural fit for web designers. They provide an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary and sharpen your skills. It can be a great way to advance your career.
And they often have a lot of fun working on them. At least initially. In fact, small hobbies that started with good intentions can take a turn for the worse before you know it. They have the potential to become too intense.
For some designers, it is a good idea to “blow up” a side project. It could even lead to a full-time gig. But that’s the rare exception – not the rule.
In fact, many people find that the fun disappears when the project starts to feel like hard work. At that point, it’s less of a hobby and more of a burden. Who asked for that?
It is a common experience. But there are a number of ways to ensure that your project does not take over your life. Let’s explore the balance needed to keep these little kittens from becoming angry big lions.
Understand Who You Are
Personalities play a big role in our projects. For example, some designers are never happy with their work. Others are happy to say that something they have created is “good enough”.
Therefore, it is important to think about your personality when deciding whether or not to initiate a side project. If you are a person who is not keen on every last detail, that may be a warning sign of what is to come.
That is not to say that you should not go ahead. But the impact of a gig on you is worth considering. Will it take time away from your basic work? What kind of emotional investment is required? What is the ultimate goal?
While there is a danger of overestimating the possibilities, these are good questions to ask yourself. The answers will help you decide if you are ready and willing to take on the challenge.
How Deep is the Project?
The type of side project you choose is also a factor. Some are naturally deeper than others. Because of that, it’s good to have a mental picture of what’s involved.
Let’s say you want to start a new CSS open source framework. This can be a great way to improve your understanding of the language and show your creativity. However, releasing any tool for use by others carries a certain amount of responsibility.
Efforts must be made to handle routine maintenance and user support. Best practices also change over time and require vigilance. So, there is a long – term commitment to this type of project.
On the other hand, a blog may be a little more relaxed. You could spend days or weeks without writing – then pick up again when you want.
Not all projects are created equal – and do not require the same amount of work. If you choose one that can keep you busy, understand what you are doing before you start.
Publicly… or Without
No rule says that your side project must be in the public space. And there are real benefits to limiting your potential audience.
Building something for your friends, family, or yourself is probably a labor of love. The project feels more personal. So you can avoid the pitfalls of trying to attract and support a user base.
It is also an effective way to save some money. You could even host your project on a local WordPress installation – which only costs a few megawatts of storage.
Moreover, nothing says that you can not go further in the future. When you start small you will have a chance to see how much you enjoy the project. If things work out, great. If not, I hope it was a valuable learning experience.
If you do not want to create the next global phenomenon, do not worry. It’s a joy to be tinkering with yourself.
Get it a Perfect Costume Side Project
A side project can be very rewarding. It’s a chance to do something you enjoy and learn a few things along the way. And the variety of options available to web designers makes the experience even more exciting.
But just like anything else, it makes sense to think about a project before you jump in. Think about how it fits your personality and what kind of commitment it requires. In addition, define your potential audience and what it will take to serve them.
All of these factors play a role in how well a project meets your needs. Ask yourself: what will this project do craic? If all the stars are aligned – go for it. Otherwise, there is no harm in going back to the drawing board.
Remember that a side project is about giving yourself satisfaction first. That may not be worth your time.