With multiple templates and themes to choose from, coming up with something entirely unique for a website could really be a daunting task for the web designer today.
Do I have a witness?
If you would hang on to the end, you will see possibilities of coming up with great ideas for your websites that will make the client say WOW!
This write up digs up some tips to keep the creative juice flowing.
But before we go further, take this little story of mine.
It seemed the whole world was falling down on me. I had a serious pounding going in my head. An idea clog you’ll say. I thought they said it’s only writers that have block.
But here I am having a blockade.
But deep down I knew I was damn too conscious of something, everything I guess. Everything around me seemed to make some graphical design sense. Then I became afraid of the next brief which would trigger a bigger headache – migraine probably.
How in the world would I meet up such deadlines with this state of mind coupled with this endless jingling going on in my head?
I relaxed, watched some movie on big screen, (oopsie! I got this from a movie titled ‘CASH’) sipped some hot chocolate and decided to take a cold shower.
Right there and then it came like a storm. I rushed out of the bath tub and scribbled down what I had in mind.
Eureka! Guess what, that was the design proposal that won the bid.
This is a real life story. No jokes.
“During my days working full time, coming up with great, creative and unique concepts for design projects had always been challenging to say the least.”
Creativity Unpredictable Route
Like in my brief story above, creative concepts can come to us in divers ways as creative graphic/web designers. The big deal here is just to ensure an open mind is kept throughout the process. A lot of times it can come while relaxing in a cool , cozy atmosphere.
In some other time, a creative idea could come through an unpredictable source – even from a novice.
I quickly recall what one of my spiritual head once said “you may chose to complain or see the thorns in the rose or behold and appreciate the rose within the thorns.”
It’s entirely up to you.
Really the choice is really ours to see the cup half filled or half empty. But through it all, ideas are actually everywhere.
They stare at you in the face. The only big deal is for you to have the potential to see them (Open the Eyes of my heart Lord –remember that song?).
Can you be a designer without having the fabled spark of creativity?
By universal agreement the answer is no.
Certainly it’s possible to learn the rules of design by rote: when to use JPEGS in a web design and when to use GIFs or PNGs, applying the rule of thirds to layouts, and so on.
“Professional design is about problem-solving.”
Yes you heard it clearly: “Design is about problem-solving.”
And for this, you need creativity.
“Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be learned, nurtured and honed.”
Thankfully, most people are creative to greater or lesser degrees.
Think of creativity like muscle that needs regular exercise; without it, creativity could shrivel while the other big ideas will kick sand in its face at the beach.
In our today’s world of multiple information sources, we seem not to lack these idea propellers all around.
But how we use them is also of optimal importance. The ability to decipher and appropriate these multiple sources of ideas are critical for coming up with creative ideas.
“To take you away from the crowd; make you unusual; keep you in the game and further endorse your relevance in the field of design, creativity is indeed a prerequisite.”
Whatever you’re involved in: photography, logo design, graphic design, web design, signage design, design for print, branding services and more, the need for a creative approach is inevitable and sets you apart from your competitors.
I have a favorite acronym I coined: “ACTED”, meaning Add Creativity To Everything Done.
There must always be somewhere in your design that you can introduce something that sets you apart from the pack.
OKAY, LET’s GET DOWN TO BRASS TACK!
TIPS YOU NEED
These are the tips you’ll need to keep your creative anointing flowing…excuse my use of words.
1. Realise, appreciate and accept the fact that GOD is the only TRUE SOURCE of CREATIVITY:
I don’t want to seem religious here but from my personal experience, I have come to realize that inspiration, creativity and revelation comes from my deep relationship with my Maker and Creator, God Almighty.
“He is the Originator and Creator of the world. The Lord of Creativity.”
Quite a lot of times, I have come up with great design concepts just having my quiet time and meditating in absolute silence.
Remember that deep waters flow with majestic silence. The deep also calls forth deep.
We all know that gold and the earth’s precious treasures are not found on its surface.
Same with being creative.
So you have to dig deep into your very being to get creative with your design projects.
Your relationship with your Creator will definitely lighten you up to greater heights in your pursuit of creativity.
My experience is proof.
2. Find your Environment:
Set up your world of creativity.
If it’s under a cool tree; a park; the local zoo; sea side or a room in your home, discover where your creativity is at its peak and pitch a tent there.
For me, I love a very quiet, cool place with good inspirational music (usually gospel, pardon my religiosity) in the background.
Find that ‘somewhere’ that ignites the creative spark in you – not with Gordon Spark though lol!
I shared more on my blog if you’d care to check it out.
3. Create Order Around Your Life:
Order is fundamental to the human person. Order attracts creativity. Order removes ordeals. Set forth orderly then creativity would naturally come at you. ORDERLINESS is a proof of perfect understanding which further gives you insight that makes room for innovative ideas to flow.
4. Be In A Good State Of Mind:
The buzz around us is just damn so much.
From waking up to the blasting noise from megaphones of religious activities; to getting alerts from unsubscribed, overbearing, unwanted, forceful text messages on your mobile phone, pop up messages from our various chat platforms; the not-always-good news from the media; incessant power outages (As I write, my “I pass my neighbor” generator is on); bad roads and the list seems to increase by the day, one wonders if there’s hope for any form of sanity.
Sometimes I wonder if there would ever be good news.
All these could culminate into a worried and unsettled state of mind.
Yet you’ve got to remain creative as a web designer.
Think about this: Creative ideas would naturally not come to anybody in a bad and disjointed frame of mind.
You have to be in the right frame of mind to be creative.
In this part of the world, there are quite a lot of concerns that space will fail me to mention.
Despite this, you have to take your mind (I mean consciously) off and focus on idea generation for your web design projects.
Sincerely, I know it is quite hard but you just have to keep your head up and don’t cry even if Nigeria today is hard, never give up.
5. Research & Source Inspiration:
Your choice to explore a thousand and one sources of inspiration, online and offline is entirely up to you.
These sources includes radio, television, outdoor advertising, magazines, journals, internet, the list is endless.
Browsing through inspirational stuffs easily makes room for idea generation for your own design projects.
I have had times where I was idea stuck and decided to go through some creative websites online and from researching, I got something that inspired a web design project at hand.
6. Get The Client’s Brief Right, Meet Their Needs:
Be a consultant, not just a website designer.
Do further work. Research the client.
Read up stuffs about them from whatever literature you can lay your hands on.
Get down into knowing the client personally if possible.
Pay a visit if possible.
Get into the soul of the client’s business. Know their products and services and have a clear cut interpretation of what they stand for on your finger tips.
Lots of hard work right?
Do intellectual concept designing for them, and you’ll definitely change your perception from just a web or graphic designer to a consultant that really wants to help them achieve their objective(s).
7. Consider The Way Graphic Or Web Design Software Are Created:
The way graphic softwares are made is a proof that there are usually a thousand and one ways of carrying out a task.
Just try and take a closer look…
For example, CorelDraw as a graphic design editor, software, application (any one you choose to call it) on its tool bar gives a variety of backgrounds to choose from –solids, gradients, textures, etc.
“The way graphic softwares are made is a proof that there are usually a thousand and one ways of carrying out a task.”
So for your background rendering, you could sample more than one option and see the one that best fits.
In the same light, the package presents features that ignites creativity if you take a closer look.
Food for thought abi!
8. Get physical:
Go back to your drawing board.
Do paper and pencil work.
Get your thoughts together on paper.
Wireframing could do the magic.
Get reference materials printed, archived –once a while, glance through some of your past work –therein lies some creative approaches you could build on.
Ensure regular revision of your reference stock to inspire, refresh and revitalize better and newer approaches to web design concept development.
The sky is only few heights above if you make it your limit.
Generating creative ideas could be a lot better as a team than doing it all yourself.
The ideas that each member brings on board could be invaluable.
No one person has it all when it comes to unpredictable creative ability and THINKING.
On the flip side, brainstorming can either be a creative gold mine or a time wasting disaster –depending on who’s on your team.
Remember the analysis-paralysis syndrome and don’t allow it creep into the brainstorming process.
Get your creative team together often and think lest you stink.
Important points to consider:
The rendering/presentation of your design is directly proportional, connected, correlated to your state of mind.
For example, if your designs are always seemingly scattered, it probably shows you’re in a bad, frustrated, unsettled or disorganized state of mind.
What to do?
Take some time off. Relax and exercise.
Do some other things you love, inspiration will flow.
Concepts can determine layout and vice-versa.
Design Layouts could inspire creativity.
Just keep an open context.