As a copywriter, I know how frustrating writer’s block can be. It kills your work flow, and it makes you think you’ve lost your touch. But you can work your way through it and surprise yourself if you stick with it.
Web designers face this same struggle. Designer’s block occurs when a designer falls into a rut of building the same uninspired design time and time again or just can’t find the motivation to get the project started.
Thankfully, I’ve come up with a short list of tips that will help you slay web designer’s block the next time it rears its ugly head.
1. Bust out the pencil and paper—When web designer’s block hits, you could end up staring at a blank computer screen for hours waiting for inspiration to kick in. Or worse, you could easily lose focus and start mindlessly surfing the web. Neither of these is a good option. Instead, take a step back from the computer, and start sketching. Sketch the basics of a bunch of different layouts so you can see what works and what doesn’t. Sketching can be done very quickly, saving you time and getting you back on track to a quality design.
2. Look at the work of your favorite web designers—If you’re a serious web designer, you probably have a few designers you look up to. When you’re stuck, go take a look at some of their work. What is it they do that you like so much? What things do you think they could do better? This isn’t to say you should just rip off someone else’s web design ideas, but it’s good to get outside of your own head to see what other designers are doing.
3. Go offline for inspiration—Sometimes, looking at other websites for inspiration just won’t do it for you. That’s okay. You can get inspiration for your website design offline too. Open up a magazine and look at the print ads. Watch TV commercials. This will help you identify color schemes you like, new typography ideas, and other design inspiration that will help add a new flavor to your web design.
4. Is procrastination the issue?—I hate to admit it, but on more than one occasion, the root of my writer’s block was procrastination. It happens. You might be having an off day where you’re just not feeling it. Or the project might seem a little overwhelming or just not that interesting to you. Suck it up. Don’t let procrastination kill your inspiration, and don’t wait until right before your deadline to get started on your design, forcing you to turn in uninspired, mediocre work.
5. Take a break (if#4 doesn’t apply)—If you truly are stuck and procrastination isn’t the issue, take a short break. Get away from your computer for a while and take a short walk. Or hit the gym. I don’t know why, but I’ve always found that I’m flooded with ideas whenever I start exercising. Sometimes, you just have to let go of it all to open the doors for creative ideas to enter in.
What do you do to overcome web designer’s block? Share your tips in the replies.