You’re stuck for ideas. It’s not a pretty place to be in when you’ve got a site to design, a client to satisfy and a deadline to meet. You tell yourself that you can’t rush creativity, beauty, art or elegance. Saying that to yourself is easy enough. Now try saying it to your client.
The reality of being a freelance designer or website creator is you have to learn how to force yourself into idea mode. Getting hung up in creative block is simply not an option, especially when somebody else is paying you to be your brilliantly creative self. They’re paying for results, and you need to deliver.
Fortunately, there are pragmatic ways to dig ourselves out of a dearth of creativity. Brainstorming is a good way to start. Take a look at the following ways that brainstorming can help spur the Web design process:
* Brainstorming overcomes creative block
Creative block is every creative person’s worst enemy. Most challenges that you face are external, but Web Development stems from the inside. It might be your inner critic trying to convince you that your ideas are no good; or it could just as easily be a good old-fashioned mental block. There are many causes – some of which are quite serious, while others are run of the mill. In any event, a productive brainstorming session can be just what’s needed to break through creative block and start unleashing all of your brilliant design ideas.
* Brainstorming creates new ideas
Sometimes, it’s not a fundamental lack of creativity that we’re suffering from. We have ideas; however, none of them seem very good (or particularly different). In this case, brainstorming can help us gain access to a few new angles to freshen up the idea base.
* Brainstorming paves the way to innovation
One of the most powerful aspects of brainstorming is the commitment to the principle of “ideas for ideas’ sake”. We are not trying to create award-winning ideas in an average brainstorming session (though, if this did result, no one would complain). We’re just trying to develop the discipline of coming up with ideas. This is the reality of innovation. We often imagine good ideas coming to us in a eureka moment. However, the truth is that every eureka moment is built on a foundation of hard-won ideas. The best ideas are recognisable through comparison to the onslaught of not-so-good (ahem, bad) ideas.
How to Kick off a Brainstorming Session
Brainstorming (some people call it ‘concepting’) is a discipline that you have to develop over time. You don’t need to be professionally trained to take part, but the more experience you have, the more productive your brainstorming session will be. In fact, the average web design agency in Melbourne – or anywhere else, for that matter – is going to devote a significant amount of time to brainstorming / concepting / sound-boarding / etc. Call it what you want – it’s all about coming up with ideas.
The best way to get started is to look at what’s out there. What are competitor sites – the really successful ones – up to these days? Take note (literally) of their tactics and ideas. Write them down, think about them and don’t be afraid to use them if they work. The idea is to recognise a good idea when you see it. That’s really all there is to brainstorming.
Of course, when you encounter good ideas that other people came up with, you’re going to have a few ideas your own. This is where your passive observations become dynamic.
And the storm ensues…