- Maureen Dillon 09.15.2015
While iteration may feel like the impossible process of spinning straw into gold, you have to admit that it’s the key to producing a digitized work of art that you’d proudly point at and claim as your own. Besides, it’s sort of an adventure where you challenge yourself in your craft without having to step outside or stray too far away from your computer. To ensure that your iterations are meaningful, use the following four methods to be inspired.
Iteration doesn’t have to happen in a vacuum; collaborating with other designers or even clients is bound to give you the creative boost you need. Run your design by someone else and ask him or her for feedback. Other professionals, especially those with more experience, are bound to identify aspects that you’ve missed. They may even suggest a few new techniques they’ve used, sparking your creativity and leading you in a different, but better direction.
If you don’t know of anyone, head to a coffee shop and bounce your ideas off someone there. Since designs are created for people, getting their feedback will push your design forward. Demand brutally honest feedback, as it’s easy to grow ‘blind’ when you’ve worked for hours on a certain design. Moreover, take feedback with a grain of salt and avoid taking any criticism personally. Everything you’re told is actually bound to benefit you and even turn your client into your biggest promoter.
At times, design ideas come easy to you. This is especially true if you’re passionate about the project or client’s niche. However, there are times when your muse may be sound asleep and you can’t come up with design ideas quickly or easily. If this is news to you, please share the secret of your endless inspiration! As for the rest, there’s a way to battle the frustration and self-doubt that comes naturally with this issue: Experiment.
Try different things to see whether or not they’ll work. And don’t just stick to the conventional; experiment with the craziest elements as even they have the power to make your work solid, stunning and unconventionally unique. Now this process can take a lot of your time; so, consider experimenting using Photoshop rather than your browser. Once you form a foundation using Adobe’s photo editing tools, you can finalize your design in the browser.
To guide you a little further on this iterative design technique, here are three tips you can use.
Another way to iterate your design is by checking with the goals you and your client agreed on initially. Since you’re too busy with design aspects, it’s easy for you to forget what your goals are at times and go astray. Therefore, come up for air and check your work against the project’s aims at regular intervals. At times, this could mean redoing a large chunk of your work. However, how much you redo depends on how frequently you assess your work. If you complete your project only to discover that it doesn’t follow goals, you’ll be wasting your time and risking client satisfaction. Worst-case scenario, you might lose your client altogether.
Let users have a say in your design since they’ll be looking at it more often than you or your client. You can take their opinions during the design process itself or when it’s ready and in the hands of users.
Use these four methods on a regular basis to ensure that design iteration becomes a part of your on-going efforts to improve the impact of your work and its efficiency. Even if you’re not really a perfectionist, remind yourself constantly that this is one of the best ways to ensure your customers’ satisfaction and ultimately loyalty. You won’t need to hunt for clients on your own, as they’ll come to you with more projects and the friends of those who liked what you’ve delivered in the past.