Creativity is not about straight lines

There is nothing I enjoy more than that first blank page when I start a new project. I love to move my ideas around, work out how each element will interact with the next. If I’m designing a new interface then I’m sketching out the display, putting in each form element, or noting database structure. For me this process is never tidy. It is the only time I don’t worry about straight lines and how the page will flow. I don’t obsess about layout and typography, all that is for later. This is the ideas stage when I get all the pieces together.

So here are my top 5 tips for getting the creative juices going.

  1. Have lots of coloured pens.
    Each colour can represent a different level or process. They also look pretty on the page
  2. Make sure you have plenty of paper.
    You don’t want to run out when the ideas are flowing. If you do run out use the back of an envelope, napkin, or beer mat.
  3. Don’t worry about drawing straight lines.
    This is fast and fun. Just make sure you can at least read it later.
  4. Always colour outside the lines.
    You might tame things down later, but this is about playing with every possible approach.
  5. Don’t be afraid to cross things out and start again.
    But don’t be too harsh you might come back to that idea again.

And keep the coffee flowing, that one might just be me.

Interface scribble click for big image

Interface scribble click for larger image