Designers need to be able to come up with innovative ideas on a daily basis, being creative is a key skillset to be able to do this. But how do you become this creative?
Creativity is normally perceived as being pure natural talent, others will suggest that experience gained from tackling a variety of different design problems certainly helps to develop the creative mind. But did you know that you can train your creative skills with exercises and tools which really help in the exploration of ideas. Here are just some of the methods you can use to boost your creative thinking:
This is a collage of images, colours, fonts and phrases, gathered together as an inspirational tool for the designer and also to be used as a guide for them and their client to follow a preferred project path. A typical example of how this can work is when a client requires a specific aesthetic style, such as “sleek” or “rugged”. A board is assembled by the designer with material based on this theme to generate the required mood, this is then presented to the client to ascertain their favourite elements. Once agreed this then acts as a reference point for the development of the design in the ideation stage.
Writing down as many thoughts as possible about a specific design brief or problem is a proven way of generating ideas, initially with little importance given to their effectiveness as solutions – this is known as brain-storming. Typically, brain-storming activities are carried out in groups as the broader experience of multiple participants will naturally translate into more ideas. However, it can also be done individually and it is worth remembering that someone who finds it difficult sharing ideas in a group might generate more ideas when alone and without distraction. Brain-storming meetings will normally involve someone leading the group who will be prepared on the subject in question. This leader will guide the discussions ensuring that everyone can have a say and comment on other people’s suggestions to develop them further.
Similar to brain-storming, though brain-writing incorporates an individual stage whereby participants first consider the problem and write down their ideas alone and anonymously. These are then collated as anonymous ideas and then read out and shared within a group for discussion. This method is particularly useful as it combines the advantages of individual and group brain-storming.
An analytical technique involving creating a grid whereby the different functions/requirements of a product are arranged along one axis. Solutions are added to the column/row that corresponds with the requirement and is repeated until the grid is full. One solution is selected for each requirement to build up a complete concept for the product as a whole.
This is a way of generating ideas using cards as a prompt. A pack of cards, each with an exercise written on it is required for this method. A card is drawn from the pack and then the exercise from that card is carried out, for example ‘user observation of the problem at hand’. The lessons learnt from carrying out the exercise can then be used to help spark ideas for solutions.
These are just a few of the ways we look at problem solving and generating innovative ideas. It is by no means the only way we approach the design process but we know from years of experience that they work and keep us focused and our creative minds fresh.
If you’ve got an idea you want to take to market, we will assist you through your journey. We work closely with all our clients to ensure they have all the support they need throughout the product development process.