Getting started with new design projects, whether they are client work or personal projects, can be incredibly hard. Staring at the blank canvas is daunting and dull. It can be hard to get the first design laid out or the first wire frame of something. The temptation to log on to twitter or browse your favorite design blog is always there.
It's time to get serious though. The time for browsing the web is over, and that deadline is fast approaching. Check out these simple tips to help you get started on a new design project even when you feel a little uninspired.
Plan It Out
A well-thought out plan leads to a well executed project. If you find yourself uninspired or lost as to where you need to start your next design project, take it back to the basics. List the goals of the project, map out some ideas on how you can execute these goals in a visually appealing way, and write/draw anything, and I mean anything, that comes to mind when you think of this potential project. This can lead to new ideas, some creative inspiration, and an all around bigger motivation to get started on the project.
Just like with writing, rough drafting works wonders in design. Getting the basic shape down of a webpage for example can help me to move on from there and refine the design to better results. Another cool exercise to try is to time yourself. Set a timer of say 15-20 minutes and force yourself to finish the basic design in that time. This forces you to get creative in a short amount of time. You would be amazed to see how well you work when you set constraints for yourself. This doesn't mean get sloppy! Just get the basic draft down with a time limit, and then refine and reshape the design from there to see where it takes you.
Getting feedback is normally the next step I take in completing a design project. This is, by no means, nearly the end of my creative process, but is more like a stepping stone on the journey to project completion. I start by seeking out peers or close friends who are designers. Make sure when choosing someone to critique your work, they are not just saying nice things. Find a person willing to challenge you and someone who isn't afraid to critique you hard and to the point where it will really improve your designs. Here are some creative ways for designers to get feedback if you are struggling to find some valuable feedback at the moment.
Now that you have some solid feedback and critiques it is time to revise and refine your design work. Rather than look as to what you could add, look to what you can take away. See what visual and mental ways you can improve your designs. Sometimes it isn't always about the visual aspect, but it is about the user flow, and how they will interact with your designs. So take this into consideration when working on a new project.
This may not apply to all design fields, but specifically for fields like web design or user interface/user experience design, this is very important. Testing is the best way to check and iron out all the bugs, find the mishaps or misspellings, and look for problems and potential annoyances within your design. Don't take this lightly, it could be one of the key components to your successful design project.
Now that is how it's done. You just successfully went through the steps to getting started and working through a design project. Good work! Remember, the process doesn't have to be the same. Work however you feel comfortable so long as you manage to keep a nice design with an emphasis on the user.
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