For web designers, ideas are very important. If web designers don’t have fresh, trendy and almost-original ideas, they might as well stop designing because it is the fuel that drives their job. Without any ideas, there would be no design and no design means no money. That said, how should you save your ideas?
You can only create what you can imagine.
These words have been my driving force the past years. As a budding designer and an emerging writer, I have considered imagination is the mother of all artwork.
It usually works like this: an idea is conceived in your mind and you are impregnated with it. Time passes for a while. As you develop it, you become pregnant with it and eventually gives birth to something useful, creative and amazing.
You can create what you can only imagine. What if you can no longer imagine? What if, one day, you realize you no longer have any ideas? What if your idea bank has run out? What will happen to you?
That is a very difficult slump to be in. You have to prevent these things from happening as much as possible. You have to save the ideas for the rainy days.
Last time, 1WD presents to you some techniques on how to save money. As a continuation to that life hack, we will be imparting you some idea-saving tricks.
Yes, aside from money, you also have to save ideas because there would be no money if there were no ideas in the first place. Got it?
Now, let’s begin:
Jot Down Notes
To save ideas, I recommend that you start a small piggy-bank-like container for your inspiration. You can start by carrying a small notebook and pen everywhere you go (or maybe consider downloading an app called Evernote). Sometimes, ideas come at the places most hostile to creativity and when that happens, you best be prepared.
Write (or draw, doesn’t matter) everything you think of, no matter how irrelevant they are to your current project. Indicate the date you thought of it and its possible applications. If possible, you can also scribble the basic layout of look of your finished product.
Remember, write (or draw) the idea as soon as you think of it. It doesn’t really matter if you are in a toilet or in a restaurant, just start writing before you can even forget it.
- Because you will soon forget every creative detail as you delay the process
- Because writing is twice as retentive as reading (or thinking)
- Because you can easily look back to your ideas the moment you need them
See how this acts like a piggy bank? You just put in spare change every time you can. When in need, you can just open it and spend some money on fulfilling this need. The same is true with creativity; you start with seemingly worthless and small, spare ideas but eventually turn into something precious in the future.
Here is an article that you can help you:
Copy and Innovate
There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.
I used to have this thinking that I have the most original ideas ever but, when I think of it, I realize that someone else thought of that idea long before it was even conceived in my mind. That saddened me because I know that I should produce ultimately original ideas to become someone great.
But as I grew older and mature, I began to realize that Holmes was right. Everything has all been done before. I was basically copying from those who came before me.
Let’s just think of this: you invent a drug that could help people with bad tummies get better but when you register it in the IPO, you realize that there is a pill that does the same thing.
Now the question here is what will you do? Will you stop on creating new ideas? Will you force yourself to produce new ideas? Sometimes this is very difficult.
In the realm of writing, copying and pasting documents without proper authorization is a bad practice but I think what makes it bad is that you don’t innovate.
The same is true in web design. Copying designs per se is bad but copying them as inspiration and making them even more inspirational is acceptable. To save your ideas you should start copying and later innovating ideas.
Here a few things to remember:
- Make sure that you don’t copy it per se.
- Always look at blogs that give you web design inspiration.
- Always aim to make things better.
Don’t Fire All of Your Bullets
The best way to save is to not spend.
This goes true as you plan on saving your ideas on bigger projects. Often, as passionate as we are in our crafts, we give out our all, striving for perfection in what we do. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, we encourage you to strive into being greater web designers than you are today.
However, if you want to save your bigger ideas for bigger projects and for bigger income, you might want to keep them for yourself for a while.
A great technique is that you give what is needed for the project. If you were asked by the client to design a website for, say $500, give him the effort that is really worth what he paid you. Don’t go expending all your creative juices on a project that would not compensate your performance. This is playing smart.
Always Look Back
You have a portfolio for two reasons:
- To showcase your talents to your clients
- To showcase your talents to your future self
To save your ideas for a rainy day, always make it a habit to look back at your past projects. Just remember the things that you did and how inspired you were.
The more you do this, the more that you will be refreshed with what you have been doing in the past. Remember, the past is a great teacher.
When looking back, here’s what you need to do:
- Look at your ‘best’ works.
- Identify your errors and correct them in the future projects.
- Take what is great in each of your past work and put them together next time.
- Don’t forget to assess yourself.
Here is a list of 50 questions you should ask yourself to evaluate your website. This should help.
Web design can be pretty difficult at times, especially if you run out of ideas every now and then. Remember that your work is predicated on how you generate ideas. Learn to save them. Be wise and you’ll see where it leads you.
Do you have any techniques to share? Feel free to comment.