Designing a website requires a journey of awareness that involves both inward and outward components. Through self-discovery, investigation and hands-on learning, web designers can tap into the emotional framework of the problem they are trying to solve. Usually, the outward-facing approaches are easiest to see and understand, while the inward ones are more challenging. Fortunately, there are a few easy approaches website designers can take to expand their design mind. Here are six of them.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a good skill to have in your daily life. Being mindful requires your complete focus and reduces outside distractions. This can bring clarity to the issue you are trying to solve, or at the very least, allow you to see the issue from various angles. Though mindfulness takes some practice to master, you can start at any time. Pick a quiet place, focus on your breathing and concentrate on the elements of your design.
2. Show Empathy
Being empathic allows you to walk in your customer’s shoes so that you can better understand their frame of mind. This helps you make design decisions that your customers can benefit from. To think empathetically, you have to go beyond the basics of who your customers are and what they might be doing. Dig deep and tap into the subconscious mind. Emotions drive purchase decisions, after all.
3. Use Your Five Senses
As a designer, you need to use more than just your vision. Taste, touch, smell and hearing are other senses that can be used to enhance the design mind. This holistic approach allows you to create a comprehensive design that enriches your customers’ lives. It’s also extremely helpful in creating a brand that people don’t just recognize but live.
4. Act it Out
It may feel weird to pretend you are a lamp or a kitchen table, but approaching the drawing board this way can offer up some new ideas. Let’s say you are designing an app that will allow users to order coffee, pay and pick up their order. By acting out the app, you can better understand what it needs to run smoothly.
5. Sit in Different Spots
Remember when you were a kid and brainstormed with groups on the floor? Your teacher had a reason. Sitting on the floor can help you relax, focus and block out distractions. But since it can also get uncomfortable (we’re not 10 anymore), make sure you move around so that you prevent boredom. For instance, try sitting on a bean bag chair, moving to your workstation and then sitting on a bench outdoors.
6. Grab Fresh Air
Speaking of the outdoors, connecting with nature is another effective approach to opening up the design gates. When nothing is working and the air feels stale, go outdoors and get some fresh air. This change of scenery will get oxygen flowing to the brain. Sitting outdoors also helps detach yourself from the stress you’re feeling so that you can welcome new ideas that you may not have considered before.
Web designers are creative, thoughtful and originative, but this doesn’t mean that you’re always able to have the accessible design mind that you crave. By following some of the approaches above, you can tap into various parts of the brain and reach further innovation.