March 21, 2022

Use Netflix To Easily Improve Your Design Skills

Reading Time: 3 mins

Copying good designs is a great way to build your design skills if you’re getting started in design.

When I say copying good designs, what I mean is finding a design you like and rebuilding it in your design tool of choice to learn how it’s put together. You’ll never share this work publicly, but with practice, you’ll learn the features that make up effective design.

Copying websites will improve how you design websites. However, looking at design through different mediums is an even better way to improve your eye for design.

Let’s look at how you can improve your design skills with Netflix.

Netflix for design inspiration

Netflix is an amazing resource when it comes to design.

Each movie or TV show has a range of cover art that entices users to watch. With that in mind, examining the cover art of great designs will help you to understand the use of color, typography, layout, and whitespace.

Let’s dive into the process to see how it works.

Collect designs that are eye-catching

Start scrolling through Netflix and pay attention to the cover art. If one in particular immediately grabs your attention, take a screenshot or a photo and save it.

Do this until you have 5-10 good examples to work from.

The idea here is when something catches your eye, you want to understand why to be able to emulate that spark in your own designs.

Examine what makes each design effective

Once you have your collection of cover art, add them into a Figma file (or your design tool of choice).

This is where the magic starts to happen. You want to pick apart each design to understand how it’s put together and what makes it so eye-catching.

Write a note under each design and ask yourself the following questions:

These questions will help you understand the design elements used and how they work together to create an effective design.

You can spend as much or as little time as you want on this process but if you want to reign things in you can use a Pomodoro timer for each design.

Replicate the designs from scratch

Now that you’ve examined each design, it’s time to replicate them.

Under each design, start re-creating it from scratch. You can create low or high-fidelity copies, it’s up to you. The important thing here is the practice of replicating the design.

This not only cements your understanding of a design but also improves your ability to work in your design tool of choice.

These copied designs will never see the light of day but they are incredibly valuable when it comes to improving your understanding of design.

Over time and with continued practice, you’ll be able to create brand new designs that take inspiration from what you learned from this creative exercise.

Consider other mediums

This exercise doesn’t just have to apply to Netflix. Consider what other mediums you could take inspiration from: book covers, music artwork, video game box art. Any design medium that interests you will work perfectly.

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This article started out as a Twitter thread which you can check out here: Original Twitter Thread