Be a Better Designer 1: Just Do it!

This series provides little hints and tips on how to be a better designer. (BBD) The aspects mainly include how to improve productivity and better design management of your day to day concepts development tasks.
In this first installment we focus on “Just Do it!” Getting to work I mean, from our point of view, getting right into the sketching. I know we have discussed about “reflective” stops and thinking about what you are doing. But “reflective” stops assume that you are some where in between or have already started your concept development work.
In the standard design process, often a design brief is laid out or an initial research phase is done as one of the first steps. After this has been done, I have seen many designers, suffer from analysis paralysis, or just stunned in the scope of the work that they have to do, so much so that they do not know where to start! Subsequently many designers tend to work out the design concepts or idea in his or her head. This is extremely difficult to do efficiently as a person’s general mental capacity has only a limited space available.
Just like making a To Do list, pick up a pen or pencil and start sketching! Get in there, don’t wait! This moves the idea or concept from the mind and on to the paper, freeing up mental storage space. Once you do that you will find that you can think clearer and better.
The act of starting is also difficult for many, especially when you are faced with a huge blank piece of paper. What I suggest is warm up by drawing a few horizontal lines, or little thumbnails. Also sketching buttons are my personal favorite way to warm up. Once you have turned this into a habit, it will be easy to just bang out the sketches.
Finally, the act of designing is making an intangible idea into a tangible object. This is in itself is a difficult task, as there could be many solutions to a design problem. The question is often “which is the best solution for the problem on hand?”
In many cases, if the solution is thought up exclusively in the mind, it’s often not the best solution. Visualization skills, just like sketching skills, need to be developed especially in a young designer’s career. The best design solution that solves the design brief often comes when you have considered all the options. Getting your sketches on paper is essentially that, listing out all the options. From there it’s easy to apply your design sense and ask yourself if this sketch solution is “logical” or not!

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