To Our Readers: Half-Year Mark, Lessons, and the Future

Some Stats

What We’ve Learned

The last 6 months have been truly rewarding for us. Every new post is an adventure. Every talented contributor we’ve had the pleasure to work with continually surprises us with his or her ideas and their helpfulness in sharing their knowledge with the community. Every new comment that our readers leave brings excitement to our days.

Having had the opportunity to work on Design Instruct these last 6 months is, at one and the same time, a truly eye-opening experience, as well as a very humbling one.

The Work Hasn’t Been Always Smooth, Communication is Key

My brother and I had to adapt to a way of working from disparate locations. Add to that fact that our contributors also come from every corner of civilization; from Italy, Romania, India, Malaysia, from the American Midwest to the green hills of Ireland.

Suffice it to say that one of the biggest lessons we learned is to always communicate no matter what happens. However that communication is achieved — whether it’s through the phone, through emails, through the comments section of Design Instruct — the key to solving every problem is to always communicate, and to communicate well.

The Talent Out There is Beyond Belief

One of the greatest pleasures that we get from the work we do at Design Instruct comes from being able to find truly talented people and having them share their creativity with the community.

What we learned in this process is that talented people can come from any corner of the planet. There is no geographical epicenter for amazing work. There are only great ideas — and great ideas can come from anywhere.

For instance, on Design Instruct, you’ll find Miguel Cardona’s ink and watercolor illustrations, Mohammad Jeprie’s ultra realistic Photoshop techniques, Tyler Denis’ awesome Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials, or Ciara Panacchia’s guide on print preparation — these are great people from different parts of the world and in different design/digital arts fields. We’re glad that we were able to find all our writers and share their work with the community.

It’s About Our Community. It’s About the Readers.

At the start, we had no idea what to expect with Design Instruct. Today, as we reach this 6-month milestone, it is blindingly clear that the readers are one of the most important aspects of the work we do.

Without you, the reader, there would be no Design Instruct and there would be no community. It is the readers that we work for.

What’s in Store for the Future

As I’ve mentioned, when we started this site, we had no clue where we wanted to go beyond our single basic idea (publish great content). To an extent, we’re still not entirely sure of the shape of things to come — which isn’t a bad thing because we want you to guide us.

The fact of the matter is, the direction of Design Instruct is mostly determined by our readers and our contributors. We make decisions by reading your comments and emails, talking to our writers, and looking at the stuff that you’ve voted as the most popular (based on the page views you give them).

We want to build one of the most active and one of the most robust design communities on the Web. It’s a lofty goal, to be sure, but with the help of the community and the amazingly talented people who contribute to our web publication, we believe that it’s entirely possible.

In the future, we will set up forums to give our readers the opportunity to open up discussions and achieve two-way communication with the community.

We will also be putting together new types of content and regular features. We can’t say much more than that, so you’ll have to stick around and find out what these new types of content are for yourself.

We’re looking at ways to improve the functionality of the website to make it easier to find things, improving the search feature, navigation, and including helpful metadata on each tutorial. We will implement a filtering system for our content so that you can quickly find the right resources that you need. By the end of the year, we will be upgrading our web servers and content distribution network so that your reading experience will be smoother and with fewer issues (such as images occasionally not displaying). We want to whittle down our Upcoming Features list and push out these site features so that you can much better enjoy your reading experience.

More to the point, we will continue to bring you nothing but the best highest quality and relevant information for all of your design needs. In addition, we want to try to publish content more frequently.

We hope to have you along for the ride.

The last 6 months has been a blast. We are truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to reach such a wonderful and diverse audience and to work with immensely talented people.

It brings us great joy that we are able to contribute to the design community and to help educate and inspire people. As we continue to work on Design Instruct, our purpose becomes clearer every day: We are here to be a place for inspiration, a place to learn, and a place to share knowledge.

Whatever else we are, those are the principles we will work with every day. Our only hope is that we are able to enrich your lives in increasingly positive ways. We want to keep inspiring you to do great work. Whether you’re a professional, a student, or an enthusiast, we’re here to keep those creative juices flowing.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Design Instruct team

P.S. Let us know what you think the future holds for Design Instruct in the comments. If you’ve been with us since day 1, let your presence and support be known!

Tags: international marketing, marketing language, writing for web

  • Congratulations for the six months of great content, hard work and dedication to improve the design community.

    I’m very glad that I have the opportunity to collaborate with you and share my knowledge here on Design Instruct. It’s been a great journey so far and I look forward to the first-year anniversary of this website.

  • Truly a milestone! I had no idea that you guys just launched in January, the site really looks like something that has been around for longer than that! Not saying it’s old looking, just that it has a lot of great content and a solid following! I probably check the site two or three times a day just to see what’s up and am very much looking forward to what the future holds for Design Instruct! Keep up the good work guys

  • Shea

    Congratulations on the 6 month anniversary! I came to your site “by mistake” as I am not a designer, but I learn so much that I am an avid (lurking) fan. The more I read from your site, the more interesting this field is, and the more I have learned to appreciate good design (and frown at poor design). Thank you and best of luck for many more anniversaries in the future.

  • congrats guys! cheers!

  • Thanks for your kind words, Shea. We’re glad you like the site. We’re going to be mixing things up a bit in the coming months. Hope we can count on your support!

  • That’s no accident — it’s serendipity. Thanks for coming and staying Shea.

  • I’ve noticed this site from its first tutorial, buddy icon from kyo-tux. I can see that this is going to be a big tutorial site.

    I think it’s going to be awesome if I can write here! And now you’re mentioning my name. 🙂 It’s a pleasure to contribute to this community.

    Great work, guys!

  • Thanks Mohammad!

    I think Mohammad brings up a great point in our strategy for getting top-notch authors/contributors. By publishing great tutorials, we get the attention of other talented writers (e.g. the guys commenting above with a red border around their avatar!). I think the key to maintaining a high-quality lineup of tutorials is to keep publishing great content.

    Also, as you can see by the site design, we are very proud of our authors. Your byline is displayed right at the top, we want to highlight your comments with a special look, and Ike and I constantly read your comments to see what we can do better. I feel like this site is as much as mine as it is all the writers. So thank you all.

    I’m very happy that you all comment, discuss, and read Design Instruct. It’s the sort of ownership and effort that makes me humbly proud to give you all a place to showcase your amazing talents. Just counting the “red borders,” I see 4 contributors just in this one post!

  • Congrats guys :). The first time I came across this site I though WOW, neat looking, different to everything else out there and I bookmarked it right away.
    I like the simplistic approach and the focus on quality tutorials. All the best for the future.

  • Can’t believe it has been just 6 months. That is an amazing feat considering there is so much competition when it comes to design community sites. I have often seen the work on DI being featured on other blogs under such titles like “A round up of this weeks top tutorials”. I remember signing up for the flickr group when it first launched and I am always in Awe of the tutorials that come in from other artists around the globe. Keep up the amazing work and thank you for giving people like me a voice and a place to contribute.

  • This site is great! I am so lucky to have found it! I have question: Is there any tutorial video here?

    Regards…

    Elisandro.
    Brazil.

  • Sydney Miles

    Congratulations on your 6th month anniversary! Cheers!

  • We’re not yet ready to provide video tutorials, but it’s definitely in the horizon.

  • Congratulations guys!! Just as Jeprie says i think this site will be a really big tutorial site someday.

    It has also been a great pleasure to contribute here and you guys have done a great job. I’m looking forward to the new features 😉

  • Sydney Miles

    I wonder if you can do something about the font – its type, its size, or its color – to make reading a pleasure, and also to make the pages come out more alive. I take this site very seriously, as I gain a lot of information that I would definitely use in my future blogsite, which hopefully, I will be able to finalize before year end. Congratulations on your 6th month anniversary. I wish to see more vibrant and innovative ideas in all your future write-ups. All the best..

  • Sydney Miles

    By the way, I like the way you design your lay-out. The site looks so neat and organized. This is one of my favorite sites, and I follow this seriously. Thanks to all your talented contributors for sharing their vast knowledge of creative designs. May your success in all your future endeavors be immeasurable!

  • Meddy Caparas

    Congratulations guys for a job well done. . . Your contributors are increasing in numbers and because this is a good site for design makers and hunters as well, I can forsee that the numbers will be multiplied sooner than expected.
    May success be yours and that may more ideas come your way!