How to Break Through Web Designer’s Block
Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank screen bereft of any ideas? Or, perhaps you have started a project for the umpteenth time and wound up going down yet another blind alley? Well, if you can relate to these scenarios, you are not alone. Because anyone working in a creative field can experience the dreaded creativity block, and web designers are no exception.
Web designer’s block can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you have a deadline looming. But, sometimes, the harder you try to find inspiration, the less fresh ideas come forth. So, here are some strategies to help you break through a bad case of designer’s block.
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Work On Another Project
Banging your head against a brick wall will get you nowhere. Indeed, you could waste hours and hours sitting at a computer trying to get started on a project when you are suffering from designers block. So, deadline or not, sometimes it is best to put the troublesome design project to one side and take a break or work on something else.
Stepping back from a project will allow you to refocus your mind and approach the problem with a fresh perspective. You might even find that inspiration comes when you are not thinking about the stalled project. And sometimes, completing another task will boost your self-confidence and allow you to tackle the original job with renewed energy and creativity.
Revisit Some Past Projects
Everyone is different, so some of these ideas may work for you, and some may not. But another alternative way to beat designer’s block you may want to try is to revisit some of your past projects.
Reviewing previously completed projects may have two benefits. Firstly, it will serve as a reminder of the excellent work you have done before. So, it will prove to you that you can bust through the stalemate you currently face and come up with some innovative ideas. And, secondly, looking back on past work may provide you with the inspiration you need because you might find a design element to reuse in the current project.
Tackle the Project from a New Angle
Most web designers begin a project with a few wireframes and a basic layout. However, that approach can lead to you staring at a blank screen and getting nowhere. So, taking the alternative method of starting with a small design element, like a button, for example, might break you out of your designer’s block.
Beginning a web project with a detailed aspect of the site first may feel counterintuitive. After all, it’s like starting a journey without a map. However, just like a journey with no firm destination, this approach to web design might lead you on the road to discovery. For example, that single button might lead to ideas for the color palette and typography for the entire site.
Look to Other Designer’s Work for Inspiration
Plagiarism in any creative field is never to be condoned. However, you can look at other designer’s work to gain some inspiration. You might look at other websites in the same niche, for example. Or, it could be something as simple as the calls to action on another site that reignites your creative flow. If you adopt this approach, the crucial thing to do is not to copy. Instead, improve on what you see and add design your unique take on what inspired you.
Push Through the Barren Patch
It might be that it is your perfectionism that is causing your web designer’s block. In which case, your best option might be to push on with the project, even if you are not 100% happy with the initial results.
Sometimes, what initially looks like a terrible idea transforms into something special later. Sometimes, a small change to a design can make all the difference. Changing one color, for example, might change your mind about a project that you thought was going nowhere. And, even if all a dead-end start to a project provides is the inspiration for the right approach, it will have been time well-spent.
Ask for Help
A fresh pair of eyes on a problem can often see a clear solution that you have missed. So, if there is another website designer who you trust, asking them for help could clear your creative logjam.
Some designers are reluctant to ask for help because it means admitting defeat. But you will be surprised at how fast someone who has not been struggling with a problem can instantly see a solution. For example, a peer review of your work might reveal a straightforward amendment to your design which clears the path for you to continue working on the project. And, it could be something as simple as the addition of a bit more whitespace that puts you back on track.
Scrap It and Start Over
If you have tried everything else, and your first attempt at a project is still not taking you anywhere, it might be time to scrap your work to date, take a break, and start over again.
It can be tough discarding work that you have spent a lot of time on. However, your reluctance to start again with a clean sheet could be what is holding you back. Sometimes, it’s better to accept that you hit a wall and give up. Then, you can take a breather from the project, perhaps go for a walk, and attack the work refreshed and ready to go again.
Web designer’s block can happen to anyone. But, if you recognize when you have hit the problem, you can take steps to overcome the temporary loss of creativity.
When you can’t see a way forward on a project, the best thing you can do is to take a different approach. That change in tactics might be to take a break and come back to the problem later. Or it could be to look to your peers for inspiration or look at other people’s websites and some of your past work.
So, try some of the above strategies and see if they work for you. Then, hopefully, you will be able to tailor these ideas to your needs and smash right through your next web designer’s block experience.