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As a designer we often have tools that allow us to take a peek at others source code and style sheets. I think it is ok to take a peak to see how that designer has accomplish that specific task but I disagree with people who think taking their code and changing the class or ID name is ok. In this article I will give you some helpful reasons why you should not steal someones else code or design.
Becoming an addiction
Once you get into the habit of taking a peak at someone else code and copying and pasting it, it all will become a habit to you. Ever heard of the saying if you steal something once and get away with it you will continue doing it until you’re finally caught. Well that saying is very true. People who steal code from other websites often make it a habit and continue doing it, hoping it will improve their work and skill-set.
Losing your skill-set
That’s right. Believe it or not if you’re constantly copying and pasting others people code to create a website then you’re most likely just damaging your very own skill-set. When you want to learn something or get better at something you have to work with it. For example you did not grow up knowing how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. You had to practice and practice until you finally got it. As you were practicing trying to learn how to ride a bicycle you sometimes looked at other kids to see how they have done it. Over the years you continues riding bikes and became very proficient at it , not cheating once at it. Didn’t that feel good knowing that you learned how to ride a bike all by yourself. That’s applies to web development also. If you constantly write code and continue to feed off of your own work then your skills will always be improving and proceeding to the next level, making you greater at what you do.
Often when viewing or always browsing someone else work you may feel that you work will never be that good or amount to the value of their work. That is completely false. Every designer/Developer start off designing not knowing the latest tips and techniques. When I first started off designing I have to say that my designs were not great at all haha. I used fonts that could not be used, margins and padding were completely off, and the design was just bad. I looked at others works from time to time but I knew if I continued looking at their work I would continue belittling myself. The more you look at others work the more ideas you lose.
As a designer we often visit many websites for inspiration. What I have found out as being a designer/developer is I never find inspiration looking at others website or design. It might sound crazy but its the truth. I find inspirations from wallpapers, graphic posters, and videos. If you think about it Graphic designs posters are usually colorful, and very outgoing, and wallpapers are like backgrounds giving you an idea in your head on which background to create and videos are like websites in motion. If you’re watching TV on a network like spike TV or MTV you will often see some crazy motions graphics effects that can lead to a very nice design.
If you would like to avoid copying others source code or design then follow my tips and you will be on the road to becoming a better designer/coder. To this day I am constantly working on my coding skills and designing skills trying to become better at something that I love and enjoy doing. Quit stressing out and go watch a video or look at a poster for an idea.