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Kick designer's block to the curb and hit the drawing board with fresh ideas for better UX design with these 5 quick tips

Kick designer’s block to the curb and hit the drawing board with 5 quick tips for better UX design

Have you ever been trying to get a design down but it just isn’t happening? Where piles of scrunched up paper lay strewn across the floor, your desk in disarray, the evening’s coffee cups starting to resemble the leaning Tower of Pisa? Welcome to designer’s block. Population: you!

No sweat, though. Most UI designers are used to hitting brick walls from time to time. Relax. Breathe. You’re going to get through it. In no time, you’ll be back in Justinmind finishing those incomplete prototypes.

First, let’s go through 5 tips to help you overcome designer’s block so next time you run out of stream, you can simply brush it off and get back to designing.

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What is designer’s block?

Designer’s block, like its cunning cousin writer’s block, is a phenomenon where designer’s kiss goodbye to their creativity and design ability.

Designer’s block can be characterized by an inability to produce new work, a creative halt if you will. It can happen in the middle of a project or even before you’ve begun and it doesn’t discriminate – we’re all susceptible to this debilitating condition. Even your favorite designers have gone through periods of designer’s block.

Thankfully it isn’t critical and you don’t need a doctor’s visit to get you back on your feet. All you need are few tips and tricks to get your creative juices flowing. Here are 5 tips to help you out.

5 tips to overcome designer’s block

Make a plan

A lot of the time we can feel overwhelmed tackling a project or starting a new design. Undoubtedly, this unstructured feeling will seep into other areas of our lives and have a negative effect.

A lack of plan can result in designer’s block because you’ve not told yourself where to begin or broken down the project into smaller more manageable chunks. You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a plan so why would you start a project without one?

A good, solid plan can help you organize your time and resources effectively. You’ll be able to achieve your goals more easily if you create the road to get there.

When you plan ahead, you might just find yourself with more time, more energy and more ideas.

Also when you’ve got a plan in place, you’re going to have more luck fending off the beast of procrastination. En garde!


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Find ways to improve your workflow

Maybe you’re feeling blocked because your workflow is blocked. Take note of the tasks you’re completing and the way in which you complete them.

When you analyze your workflow like this, you’ll notice any areas that can be made more efficient.

Say you’re creating a interactive prototype in Justinmind and you’re taking a long time to get anywhere.

Consider using Masters to speed up your workflow to avoid repeat work. Masters are especially useful for applying global changes so that means you don’t need to go into individual UI elements to change them.

Don’t forget the power of Templates either. With Templates, you can reuse content so you can maintain consistency with your design.

Look at that, you just gained more time.

Just start

Often the best thing to do when you’re in a rut is to just start. Whether it’s writing a proposal, whipping up UX requirements or getting your hands dirty with an empathy map, just start.

It sounds almost too simple but when we’re suffering a block of any kind, it’s usually always mental.

Ever heard of blank page syndrome? It’s where you’re just staring at a blank page but nothing is happening. It’s not just confined to the realm of writers. A blank canvas in Justinmind can be just as daunting. Maybe we’re blocked by thoughts of perfection, fear or insecurity but when you just start without overthinking it, things will happen. Designs will come to life.

No one is saying those designs are going to be world changing. Don’t expect them to be. But just starting can get you into The Flow. And that’s better than staring idly and going nowhere.

Then you can go back and edit with a fine-tooth comb and make iterations and improvements until you’re happy. The main thing is to just have at it and think later.

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Change your location

A screen can only give you so much inspiration. Sometimes some new scenery is required to pump your brain with creative juices.

Changing your location can help you clear your head and give you a bit of fresh air. The office environment can stifle creativity so changing your location from time to time can be a real help when you need to rid yourself of designer’s block.

Take yourself to a quiet coffee shop or try out an interesting UX meetup; it doesn’t matter.

What’s important is changing your location and routine a little so that you can avoid the monotony and have a new experience.

Collaborate with someone

When we’re experiencing a bout of designer’s block, what better way to help you get out of it than other UI/UX designers? They’re more likely to understand where you’re coming from and can help you get out of your funk.

Strike up a collaboration with a designer or a developer and see what you can both create.

There are powerful collaboration features built right into Justinmind, like shared prototypes, reviews and comments and a developer friendly user interface.

You can also check out the pre-installed examples, which include responsive design and parallax scrolling, to get you started even faster.

Next time you’re struggling to get started reach out to a buddy and create something new together! Here’s a few simple app ideas to get you started.

Conclusion

Designer’s block isn’t fun. No one likes to be stuck in a rut. With a few simple tweaks to your workflow, a little fresh air and some new collaborations, you’ll soon be laughing that you even felt blocked.

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Steven is the web editor at Justinmind

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