Something I’ve gotten serious about recently is rating stuff.
Ratings are everywhere. We base our purchasing decisions on them, and for some people rating their photos is like a religion.
I’ve turned into a big fan of rating because it forces you to think carefully about what is really good.
On my computer I have a huge ‘design inspiration’ folder, which is a bit like a local version of Pinterest. When I see something interesting, I save the image to this design inspiration folder.
The thing is, you soon end up with a lot of stuff, and without the discipline of rating things, and weeding out the lower quality work, the design inspiration folder soon becomes useless. You only want your design inspiration folder to be full or awesome, inspiring things, right?
So I go through and rate every image. I think about how good the work actually is. By the end of it, perhaps half of the images have been deleted, and around 1% end up with a five star rating.
When I go back to the folder and skim these 5 star images, they are things that really inspire me.
I’ve extended the practice to rating my own work too. That way, I can identify the things which are good, and those that aren’t. And I can compare them to the five star work I see in my design inspiration folder. This is the best practice I’ve found so far for improving my work.