For those who don’t know what Forrst is – “Forrst is a community of passionate developers and designers focused on helping themselves and others get better at their craft, providing thoughtful critiques, and sharing their knowledge to build better applications and websites.” In brief, Forrst is a Social Network for Designers and Developers.
On the outlook, Forrst may just look like an awesome place to receive insightful feedback on your designs and code snippets; however, it’s so much more than that! Using Forrst can help you progress as a designer in multiple ways, not just by improving the final quality of your work.
1. Giving and Receiving Feedback
One of the greatest things about Forrst is that you can contribute feedback to other users on their design work and code. Not only is this beneficial to them, but it also indirectly benefits yourself. Analysing the work of other professional designers and leaving feedback can not only help you better evaluate your own work, but viewing the mistakes of others makes you take care not to make the same blunders yourself.
Forrst is also an excellent way of sourcing feedback on any design work you’ve done – from website re-designs to presentation slides. Because Forrst is invite only, a strong, active community of designers and developers has formed who just love to give and receive feedback. Therefore, when posting up your awesome “stuff” you’re virtually guaranteed to receive a piece of really insightful response from a fellow designer, and no “spammy comments” from people with nothing better to do in their lives.
It is even a possibility that Forrst could become a crucial part of your design and development process. Asking for second opinions on design, code and website functionality before presenting a finished product to a client will lead to a higher quality of work which will of course lead to overly impressing the client. Also, if the client is unsure about your design or you want to convince a client to back down on one of their project requirements (such as having to use a certain font), you can show them the positive and negative reactions of your fellow professionals to help persuade them into changing their mind.
On a side note, a lot of the work on Forrst is of such a high standard that being part of the community can force you to produce better work because the bar is set so high. Presenting your creations to fellow designers is somewhat harder than presenting your creations to a client/employer because fellow designers will be able to spot small errors such as those mischievous half pixels which are prone to hiding in design mock-ups! Compliments and comments also encourage good design, which in essence will inspire you maintain a high standard of production.
2. Creative Inspiration Everywhere
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The Forrst community is a home to some of the world’s leading web designers, web developers and other talented individuals. Therefore, creative inspiration is available all day long. There’s no deficiency of website re-designs, UI elements, icons, logos, print designs and code snippets posted up every day of the week which you can use to stimulate your creativity.
Furthermore, unlike other design communities and forums, Forrst is exclusive, and only those who fit the bill can participate and contribute to the community. This is fantastic because it means Forrst is not polluted with internet trolls, elitists and, to put it kindly, clueless designers who don’t go the right way about learning and do not take constructive criticism on board. Therefore, Forrst is a terrific place to discover like-minded people without having to sift through the chaff to find the wheat.
Don’t worry about not being blessed with an invite though, invites are not hard to come by if you have a strong portfolio and leave a helpful trial comment, which is part of the new invite process on Forrst.
Finally, being with like-minded people isn’t just great creative wise, but it furthermore gives you the chance to build and develop a network of fellow designers. Many designers and developers have met each other on Forrst and gone on to collaborate on major projects in the future.
3. Forrst as a Content Stream
What many designers’ on Forrst certainly take for granted is that Forrst can be extremely valuable as a content stream. A vast array of problem solving/inspirational code snippets are posted every day, as well as a large collection of useful links to new blog posts, websites and design tools/resources. This makes Forrst a perfect content stream for any avid designer! Unlike on Facebook and Twitter, the only information you will see will be relevant. No more, “guess what I had for tea” posts; just design related material!
In conclusion, Forrst is much more than just a place to share your work; it’s a powerful tool for designers and developers which can become extremely beneficial if used properly. Through joining and contributing to the community you can improve your own work by:
- Developing better analysis and evaluation skills
- Learning from the mistakes of other designers
- Sourcing useful feedback from people who understand design
- Receiving second opinions before presenting work to clients
- Gaining encouragement to maintain high quality work
- Finding inspiration for that new project/design
- Developing relationships with fellow designers and developers
- Improving your creativity by being around fellow designers
- Having relevant content streamed directly to your “news feed”
There’s no getting away from the simple fact that Forrst is great! It has multiple uses and is a one of the best resources on the web for both designers and developers. Recently, Forrst added yet another feature to its website; a Jobs Board, which allows companies/design firms/clients to post up fulltime and freelance job advertisements for the Forrst community to see. The fortunate guys/girls who use Forrst now have a new way of finding new clients/new jobs. Another great feature, another great reason why you should be on Forrst!
If you would like to request a Forrst invite you can do so on this page.