DESIGNERS SOLVE PROBLEMS
1. THINK ABOUT USERS
Designers need to consider the audience for everything they do from the beginning of any project. This process involves colors that affect the design – from color to type images – and one that helps users interact better.
Are there some questions designers need to ask when thinking about audiences and users? By thinking about how the design will be obtained, it can be better planned.
- How will this item work?
- Do color choices create the right mood?
- Is type both readable and easy to read?
- What does the user feel when interacting with this design?
- Does the design match the company/brand’s image and persona?
2. VISUALIZE HOW IT WORKS
Picture yourself interacting with the final product. Whether it’s a website, business card or wine bottle label, people will look at the design and touch it in some way. How does it work? What is the use of design?
Designers often create a holistic version during design, which reflects how these interactions work to measure the effectiveness of the overall design concept. This category considers the actual application and function of problem-solving first and aesthetics second.
3. DEVELOP MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS
Part of the process that designers can find really fun (or very frustrating) is creating multiple solutions to a problem. Think about the number of projects you have designed that the customer thinks they want, something you like, something that falls somewhere in the middle.
Each design project offers an opportunity to try many things. The end result is one of these early ideas, a mixture of ideas, or none of the above. This evolution and flexibility for development is a key characteristic of most design professionals.
4. INVITE PARTICIPATION
Cooperation is the key to success. Many designers will agree that without input along the way, many projects will not change in the same way.
But you have to invite that participation. Ask for help along the way. Gather ideas, color, and type choices, images, and ideas about functionality. (As a designer, I’m always used to getting feedback and collaborations on projects, and I’m always been a little surprised when others are not so accustomed to this type of workflow.)
5. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE PROJECT
Think of all the times you “boutique” it to work on a project. It consumes everything and forces you to think about it even when you are not working.
Even those of us who don’t go all out on the same project can always find it in the brain. That thought process is going on all the time, and often that “one-hectare” results when you feel the need to put all of this together and go to work immediately.
For better or worse, designers often find it difficult to separate from working projects. Any encounter or song or conversation can cause a spark to help complete a task.
6. PUSH DEADLINES
The deadline is how important the sinking is. Most designers will agree that a project will never go away (or we will start if we are completely honest) until a certain date arrives. There’s something about that pressure that creative juices flow.
As much as designers work overtime, pushing them is also a factor. It’s not part of the process that many are proud of, but it is something that happens.
7. THROW EVERYTHING AWAY AND START OVER
Sometimes the best design is something that is not part of the project. Designers need to be separated from ideas and bit and pieces until they work in the right environment. Designers need to be ready to trash all the work they have done on a project.
This happens more often than you think. Not because the design is bad or the opinion is wrong. This may not be appropriate for the project or the client or the current landscape.
There is a warning to “throw away your design”. Don’t really throw it away if you want to. Keep those parts and towels and swatches one more time until you have a contract with a customer. (I have the entire file of unused design parts, they are good to go back to.)
8. LOOKING TO OTHERS
Browse galleries, see award winners, talk to other designers, and see their portfolios. Solving some of the best problems comes from getting design from those around us.
When you see that design, think of the world around you like a design concept. How do colors work together? What patterns are around us? Then talk about it. The brainstorm shapes itself and how it actually happens to you and others.
9. CONSIDER THE PROCESS
Design thinking is considered to be a free-form process that has some common stages that can occur in any or no sequence. These include defining a project or problem, researching, brainwashing and idea development, design and modeling, selection of ideas and concepts, design implementation and concept, and learning. This process includes common traits that can be identified by many designers – creativity, independent thinking, empathy, confidence, and curiosity.
So the process – it’s not a process – it makes the problem-solving method unique.
10. PICK AN OPTION AND GO
At a certain point, each design will roll the dice. Stop twisting and adjusting.
Mostly it is for designers. When you work on a freelance or a specific item that is printed, this is the end of the line. The designers hand over the rule and separate it from the project.
But if you are in a position to continue working on the design, continue to learn from the project and think about how it will develop. (This is especially true in the digital universe.) Is the project pretty trendy? How long will that trend last before it is time to move forward? Does the audience respond in the way you imagined?
Thinking about design and problem solving can be useful to broaden how you think about design in general. This can open up discussions with others you work with about your process and how you intend to build better communication and understanding.
For designers, it is important to understand how important it is to change and adapt the process. How do you feel when solving a problem? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.