It is not a new thing to “Go Blank,” staring at yourself on your computer’s screen without ideas and praying for some sort of inspiration even though you are thinking so hard. You go on Behance, Dribbble, Instagram and you see a lot of your designers dropping amazingly overwhelming designs.
You need to understand eureka moments are rare, creativity is not as easy as blinking the eye. It is the gradual combination of your experiences, ideas, and thoughts. To be able to have great ideas, you need to put in the right amount of work.
We will be looking at some of the best ways you can be creative consistently.
Find New Inspirations: New experiences awaken a sense of amazement
It is definitely not easy to feel inspired when you do the same thing all the time. Try something new, maybe something you didn’t like. It could be something you aren’t familiar with. You’ll feel new and you’ll experience new things and ideas. In the same way that “Necessity is the mother of all invention;” being uncomfortable is the precursor to creativity.
Gather raw material: Feed your mind as much raw material as possible books, blogs, movies, works of your favorite designers
This a very important step in boosting creativity. The books you read, movies you watch, every content you engage with are part of the things that makes up your imagination. Your subconscious mind is constantly working even when you’re asleep. The resulting ideas are nothing but the crowning moment of these things. Life is all about solving problems; the tools you need to succeed will be forged from your raw materials.
It is advisable to spend some time to reflect on the materials you have been consuming. Ask yourself questions if you agree with the writer/designer of a book? What are the most important lessons learned? Don’t just look through the material, learn and digest it. Keep notes of quotes and ideas, journals, and other writings.
Go Outside your Industry: Instead of staying focused within their industries, people who have great ideas look elsewhere
Let’s say you’re a UX Designer. If all you go after are UX-related content, you will stay exposed to the same concepts and ideas as your colleagues. To come up with truly unique ideas, you need to step out of your industry.
It is very important to put things coming from other places in your brain, whether it’s a novel or a book about rocket science or something that comes from outside your industry. It is good to read UX-related content, but from time to time, also feed on materials that aren’t related to your work or field. For example car designers should look to furniture designers for inspiration. Or they might look beyond the design industry altogether. Say marketing, literature, or science. This approach opens up possibilities you’d never imagine.
Daydream: Let your mind wander, and once you get back, the answer will come to you
Most times when thinking about a creative problem, the best solution is to step away from it. At this point you need to stimulate your imagination. This could be listening to music, watching a movie, or reading a book. When you allow your brain to relax, magical things happen. The next time you find yourself daydreaming, know that your mind is busy. Let it work.
Give yourself constraints: As much as we think creativity is about thinking outside the box, sometimes we need a box to think within
There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. Constraints can be the budget you’re working with, your customer’s expectations, or even an imaginary condition you set for yourself. This approach allows a person to focus on things that are relevant and solutions that work. As long as it gives you a starting point, it works.
Accountability: Own your projects and let the drive to do your best, bring out the best in you
Many creatives thrive on deadlines. Deadlines tend to push people from procrastinating and makes them create even when we’re not in the mood to. If deadlines serve as creative triggers for you, be accountable for every project you undertake. If you are not comfortable doing this, go for events in your community with a deadline. Participate in a hackathon or a design competition like the Figma weekly design challenge. By holding yourself accountable to delivering the highest quality on time, you will constantly challenge yourself and push your limits.
Study the greats: Imitation is the highest form of flattery
Michael Jackson once said “believe in yourself, study the greats and become greater”. This advice is applicable to almost any field. Passive observation of great designers is hardly helpful. Instead, try to figure out their process secrets, how the work is put together.
Be it an onboarding workflow, logo, or website design, try to understand the thought process behind it. And also, you can recreate it in your own style. With time, you’ll discover your own creative process.
Research your end users: Think like those you serve
To find ideas, find problems. To find problems, talk to people. As a designer, you need to do a design research. It involves gathering data about your users, who they are, their challenges, and how they use your product. This concept retains a sense of generality, aimed at understanding and improving the design processes quite broadly, rather than developing domain specific knowledge in your field. This is a great way to ignite new project ideas.
Conducting research can come in many forms, but the most common involves talking to your users directly, getting feedback. Having conversations with users can open up problems and preferences you may have overlooked. If you can’t talk to users directly, use surveys and usability tools to gather data.
It takes years of experiences, and refining for meaningful ideas to come to life. What do you need to be consistently creative? Build fulfilling experiences around your life, keep an eye out for the impossible, and give it time. Inspiration will follow.Do you think there are other things one can do, to be consistently creative? Do share with us on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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