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Exercises for Delicious Design

Finding custom solutions for various tasks is the main responsibility of any designer. Whether it’s graphic design, print design, or web design, you need to be creative in all areas. However, training is required to engage the left hemisphere of the brain and make it work productively. Next, we will discuss with you some useful exercises taken from the popular book by Michael Mikalko “Rice Storm”.

The first exercise, which is applicable in the designer’s work, is called “Slices and Cubes”, its essence is very simple: it is worth breaking global tasks into small ones and analyzing them from all sides, thinking about how else you can improve the product. For example, at the final stages of the site design process, it is very important to divide it into sections, and sections into its component parts.As an example: the home page consists of a navbar, a main section, a section with benefits, a blog, a feedback form and a footer. The navbar has a logo, links to pages, a choice of language and an action button. Take the action button and ask yourself the key question: how can I improve it? (increase contrast, add animation, change font).Thus, preparing the project for its individual components and paying attention to every detail, you can be sure that no mistakes will be missed and what is most important — an absolutely unexpected solution can be found that will become a cherry on the top in your project.

In one of his exercises, “Ideas in Pictures,” Michael Mikalko proposes building a mental stream from pictures, and these does not have to be detailed images, just a rather primitive sketch that conveys the general idea.This is especially important to apply at the initial stage of the design of the project, when compiling the user story. The right decision may come at the most unexpected moment. If you draw the main functions (goals) of your product through associations (it’s better to take the ones that first came to mind) on separate pieces of paper, and then you start to group them in different ways, twist and even turn them upside down — you can find the very right idée fixe. In my practice, such associative drawings help a lot in creating illustrations.

The mentioned book contains interesting and very funny exercises that you do not need to do in conjunction with the project, but you can do it from time to time, just to train your imagination. For example, the author advises sometimes to turn off common sense, let your imagination run free and answer the questions: “what if human eyes would not only be in front, but also behind?” / “what if we ate clouds?” etc. Answering such questions, we develop the ability for insights.This practice can be performed anywhere, but, in my experience, such thoughts are more relevant in bathroom.

It is also very useful to write down any of your ideas in a notebook or in a special application on the device, so you accustom yourself to generate ideas constantly, and this will become a habit. It would be better to establish a certain minimum of ideas a day, three will be enough to start. This does not have to concern work, but simply may be related to your environment. In future, looking at your notes, you can find among them a solution to some problems.

Anastasiya DESIGNER
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