A few things that help me to stay creative.“

— Frank Muller

The creative struggle
We all try to optimize our workflows. Here is my approach.

 

Design Executives have to organize, plan, estimate and ensure high quality. Over the years, I've been wondering how to tackle these fundamental issues with simple strategies.

Below are some of my guidelines that help me stay creative:

„If you don't think it’s good don't say it’s good.“

In order to understand the core problem you have to be honest. I know designers love new features as well as the latest trends. However, if you want to solve a problem with the help of design you can not simply hide it under a new facade. The hardest piece of work is to admit honestly what is going wrong and to name the core problem. Once that's done, the rest is quite simple.

„Focus on what to design not on how to design it.“

Start to solve only the core problem to minimize complexity. If you are able to name that one problem. In the meantime every other problem, every other additional features - and may it be the most potential one you ever could think of - has to wait until the core is solved. This will prevent you from losing focus and running around with a thousand loose ends rather than one red line.

„Creating simple stuff is complicated.“

Always keep your progress in mind and pay close attention to the motivation. Finding simple answers to wicked problems takes time and concentration. Problems, unforeseen issues and usability flaws are always part of the process and these can be very frustrating and stressful for the entire team. Therefore check regularly what you have already achieved. Be proud of what has already been created. Celebrate every small milestone. If you lose yourself in the conceptual phase, you may need to check your definition of the core issue to find a new starting point for the problem.

„If the idea is good, everyone will understand it. No matter how different it is.“

We know how tempting it is to try new patterns. They are so easy to apply. But you should be aware that patterns are already solutions. Although they fit somehow they will never fit perfect. So in general try to come up with your own approach as you are the one that knows exactly what's needed.

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