Being a professional creative is hard work. It’s difficult to keep a fresh design eye 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. When executing digital designs for clients, it’s important to keep your creativity muscles in tip top condition. And that’s why the Siteworx design team gets together to “work it out.”
The Siteworx design team meets regularly to discuss various topics amongst our core disciplines. At a minimum of every two weeks, we want to make sure our team members get time together to spread new ideas and approaches to age old questions, like “How can I meddle in the developer's CSS to match my comp down to the pixel level?” or “How the heck can we make this hero component look more interesting?”
And that’s exactly what we discussed last week during our visual design meet up. Our team came together, physically here in Reston and virtually with our Raleigh folks, to share awesome and exciting examples of hero components from across the web. But we all knew that this was only half of our meet up’s purpose. The first half of our hour is dedicated to sharing. The second half is when it gets fun – we are set loose to create tangible designs in a very short timeframe (15 minutes to be exact).
This week, we were given this information for our hero, along with a list of suggested imagery.
- Title: “These birds aren’t what they seem.”
- Subtitle: “Among peacocks, swans, pheasants, and other birds, males’ better looks don’t necessarily mean better genes.”
- CTA: “False Advertising”
As designers, our very nature is tested. We must get our ideas out onto the canvas instantly. A stream of consciousness, rectangles and text boxes. As Jerry Byrd, a fellow Siteworx designer, puts it, “…a lot of the BS I’d usually go through when starting a concept is cut out, and I’m left with my instincts.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it works well, and sometimes you don’t get anywhere. But it all helps us become better at exercising our creativity.
Having a restricted time period can actually enhance creative thought. There’s no time to rely on what’s worked in the past or think too deeply into the task at hand. Getting out an idea fast can help get further along in the process because either that initial idea can be built upon, or perhaps you’ve struck gold and it’s an innovative approach!
Time isn’t the only restriction that’s handy for stimulating creativity – any restriction imposed on a task can trigger the imagination. Take Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” Apparently, the famous book was the result of a bet, in which it was wagered that Dr. Seuss couldn’t complete a story with only 50 words. But he did. In past sessions, our team has used specific color palettes or typefaces to spur original concepts with limited resources, akin to Seuss using a bank of only 50 words.
Design practices like these are a microcosm of the design process in our day-to-day work. When we work for a client, the projects always involve parameters of time, resources, and business requirements. The art is in taking these parameters and creating something innovative that delights our customers and users in the end.
- Green Eggs & Ham, Wikipedia
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