Creative Blocks

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What are Creative Blocks?

Creative blocks are periods where reduced creative thinking and productivity occur. Such blocks can happen at any stage of a project. In these, designers face difficulties as they try to generate fresh ideas or execute existing ideas creatively. Still, they can take a variety of approaches to overcome blocks.

Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains how to deal with creative blocks.

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‍Why Do Creative Blocks Happen?

User experience (UX) designers are no strangers to the phenomenon of creative blocks. These are frustrating periods of decreased inspiration—and the inability to generate new ideas. As parts of real life, they can get in the way of the design process and impact a designer's overall productivity. Even so, creative blocks aren’t uncommon in creative fields. Designers do have a wealth of effective strategies to overcome them and get back to creating designs that are inspired, user friendly—and much more.

Any creativity block can sap someone's time and energy. That’s particularly relevant in design work since it revolves around creativity and iterative design processes. Nevertheless, when a designer understands the root causes of creative blocks, they can develop effective strategies to get past them and reach design solutions that are truly innovative. The specific triggers may vary from person to person—but there are some common factors and causes. A few of these are:

1. Mental Health

Anxiety, for example, can significantly impact a person's creative abilities. Feelings of restlessness, lack of confidence and a racing mind are real obstacles. They can distract a designer from focusing on their work and keep the creative flow from flowing.

2. Depleted Energy Levels

Physical and mental exhaustion can leave anyone feeling drained and lethargic—in that sort of condition, someone will find it hard to tap into their creative potential. It’s bad enough when fatigue strikes—but designers should consider how they live in general, too. For example, poor sleep habits, unhealthy lifestyle choices, plus long periods of intense work can drain the energy reserves inside a person. They can, therefore, impact how able a designer is to think creatively.

3. Stress

Stress—be it related to work, personal life or other factors—is unhealthy. It can also create mental barriers that keep someone's creative thinking back. When a designer's brain is preoccupied with worries, it’s hard to access the state of mind and point of view they need for creative problem-solving.

4. Lack of Knowledge

Creativity thrives on knowledge and the exposure to new ideas, and designers may sometimes find themselves lacking in-depth knowledge about a particular domain or field. Without the needed mental models or frame of reference, they can limit their ability to generate innovative solutions and creative ideas.

5. Fear of Failure

The fear of making mistakes—or producing subpar work—can paralyze a designer's creative thinking process and really dominate their working hours. When they're overly focused on avoiding failure, it becomes challenging to take risks and explore new ideas.

Image of a diagram about creative blocks.

This is one way to handle a creative block.

© Adam J. Kurtz, Fair Use

The Impact of Creative Blocks on UX Designers

A UX designer's ability to come up with innovative solutions and create user-centered designs is something that's vital. When faced with a creative block, they may experience any of these:

  • Lowered productivity and efficiency in terms of completing design projects.

  • Decreased levels of motivation and job satisfaction.

  • More stress and frustration.

  • Self-doubt and questioning of their abilities as a designer.

  • Hindered collaboration and communication with other design team members.

Types of Creative Blocks

Creative blocks can come through in a variety of forms. Each has its own unique challenges. Some common types of creative blocks a designer might encounter include these:

1. Idea Scarcity

This is a lack of fresh ideas and a difficulty when it comes to generating new concepts. A designer may feel stuck in a cycle of repetitive or totally unoriginal ideas. That will make it challenging to break free and explore innovative solutions.

2. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. While it's commendable to strive for excellence, excessive perfectionism can bring on creative paralysis. In fact, the fear of producing imperfect work or not getting all the design elements flawless can keep a designer back from experimenting—and limit how able they are to come up with new ideas. What's more, it can cost someone a great deal of time and energy.

Illustration of a person chasing a trophy to symbolize pursuing perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a major cause of creative blocks.

© Aakash Jethwani / Octet Design Studio, Fair Use

3. Overthinking

Overthinking is something that often goes hand in hand with perfectionism. And if you get caught up in excessive analysis and self-criticism, you’ll find it harder to trust your instincts and let ideas flow naturally. Overthinking can be a vicious circle, too. For instance, it can lead to self-doubt and a lack of confidence in one's creative abilities.

4. Lack of Inspiration

Sometimes, a designer may struggle to find inspiration, and they may end up feeling disconnected from the creative process. Things may seem flat and plodding and uninspired. Something that can contribute to this block is a lack of exposure to diverse sources of inspiration or a stagnant environment.

5. Mental Fatigue

A result of long hours of intense work or prolonged periods of stress can be mental fatigue. That, in itself, can lead to a decrease in creative thinking. When someone's mentally exhausted, it then becomes challenging to tap into their creative potential and come up with designs that are innovative.

These are just a few examples of the creative blocks that any designer may run into. Recognizing the specific type of block they're experiencing can help tailor their strategies for overcoming it. Still, one thing that also helps is to understand the various stages of creativity. When a designer does, they can appreciate the process—and feel better about how ideas tend to come.

Here, Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains these stages of creativity:

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Best Practices for Handling Creative Blocks

To overcome creative blocks and really get past them, it's vital to take a proactive approach and adopt effective strategies. Here are some best practices:

1. Embrace the “Quantity Leads to Quality” Approach

Designers shouldn't wait for the perfect idea to come before starting their design process. Instead, it's best to focus on coming up with a huge quantity of ideas. This approach lets them explore a wide range of possibilities—plus, it boosts the chances they'll stumble upon truly innovative ideas. So, it's good to set aside dedicated time for brainstorming sessions and write down every idea—and do it no matter how wild or unconventional it may seem. Later, designers can review and refine their ideas to get to the most promising ones.

2. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Mindfulness

Something that can help as well is to develop self-awareness and practice mindfulness; it can be an aid for designers to recognize the early signs of a creative block—and address them proactively. It's vital that designers pay attention to their thoughts, emotions and energy levels. They should take breaks—regularly—to recharge and engage in activities that promote relaxation and mental clarity. These could be meditation or deep breathing exercises. When they're present in the moment and they can cultivate self-awareness, they can navigate through creative blocks more effectively.

3. Seek Inspiration from Diverse Sources

Designers should expose themselves to a wide range of stimuli and look for sources of inspiration in various fields—outside of design. It's good to explore art, literature, nature, music and other areas that spark the curiosity. From engaging with diverse sources of inspiration, they can broaden your perspective. And when a designer is enriched that way, it can trigger new connections and associations in their creative thinking process.

4. Break Routine and Embrace Novel Experiences

It's good to go a bit further than the above and escape the monotony of daily routines by seeking out new experiences. Designers should, therefore, break free from their comfort zones and get into activities that both challenge their assumptions and broaden their horizons. They should try traveling to new places, attending conferences or workshops, or exploring hobbies that having nothing to do with design. For instance, a visual designer might take a break from the “pictures” aspect of web design—and try playing an instrument or taking a day out at a historical site. Novel experiences stimulate the brain and permit someone to approach their work with fresh perspectives.

5. Experiment with Different Techniques and Tools

It's vital to explore new design techniques, tools and processes as a way to reignite the creativity. Experiment with different prototyping methods, sketching styles or user research techniques. For example, for a designer who's used to a user-centered design (UCD) process, they could try action research to get a new perspective. Or they could go in for a focus group to help with their user research if they haven’t used one before. When designers embrace unfamiliar tools and approaches, doing that can spark new ideas and help them break free and away from creative ruts.

6. Collaborate and Seek Feedback

It's worth reaching out to fellow designers, colleagues or mentors for collaboration and feedback. Designers should discuss their ideas with others. These other people can provide fresh insights and help designers get past their mental blocks. Collaborative brainstorming sessions, design reviews and constructive critiques can stimulate their creativity and push them to new heights. That, in turn, can give a target audience extra benefits which the designer might notice later when it comes to user testing.

7. Create a Supportive and Inspiring Workspace

It's helpful to design the workspace so that it promotes creativity and inspiration. So, designers should try to surround themselves with colors, textures and objects that stimulate their senses and bring out positive emotions. They should organize their tools and materials in an accessible and visually pleasing way. Plus, they could introduce elements of nature—such as plants or natural light—to create a calming, interesting and energizing environment.

Here, Professor Alan Dix explains what goes into an environment that nurtures creativity.

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8. Establish New Habits

Sometimes, designers can access hidden reserves of creativity when they get used to new things. So, it's good to adopt a new kind of regular activity or way of doing things. It can help get one into the mood—or mode—that they need to overcome those unwelcome creative blocks. Designers might try taking a seat in another part of their home office, for example. Or maybe even a change in their clothing—like a “thinking cap”—will be that key that helps them get more creative. As Professor Alan Dix shows here:

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9. Practice Divergent Thinking

Divergent thinking is the ability to come up with multiple solutions for—and ideas about—a given problem. Designers should train their minds to think divergently—from engaging in activities that promote free thinking and idea generation. Professor Alan Dix explains four ideation methods to help designers think more divergently.

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10. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity

Designers should try to shift their mindset towards failure and view it as a valuable learning experience. So, “fail forward.” It's good to understand that every idea or design iteration that falls short of expectations brings one closer to finding the right solution. They should learn to see constructive criticism and feedback as opportunities for growth and improvement—learning from these mistakes and applying those lessons to future projects.

11. Keep a Design Journal

A design journal is a handy tool to capture and organize thoughts, ideas, sketches and bits of inspiration. Designers should use a journal to revisit previous concepts and explore new connections. Whenever they reflect on their journal entries, they can find valuable insights. What's more, it can serve as a source of inspiration to help them push their way through creative blocks.

Image of a notebook journal.

A good old-fashioned approach such as a journal to record ideas and sketches can help organize your creativity.

© Jonathan Robles, Fair Use

12. Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines

Designers should break their design projects down into smaller, manageable tasks—and then set realistic goals and deadlines. This approach helps keep them from feeling overwhelmed. Plus, it lets them focus on one step at a time. They should celebrate small victories along the way—as each accomplishment serves to boost motivation and confidence.

13. Go for Continuous Learning and Professional Development

It's wise to invest in professional development by staying updated on the latest design trends, industry best practices and emerging technologies. So, designers should learn continuously through online courses, workshops, conferences or joining design communities. When designers expand their knowledge and skill sets, they’ll have the tools to get past and get over creative challenges—and push their creative boundaries.

14. Practice Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a visual technique—one that helps designers organize thoughts and ideas in a non-linear way. They start with a central concept or problem statement. Then they branch out with related ideas or potential solutions. Mind mapping is helpful as it encourages free association. It can also unveil hidden connections and creative solutions that someone mightn't spot in a linear thought process.

A diagram of a mind map.

Mind maps can help designers branch out to areas they mightn't tap otherwise.

© Saurav Pandey, Fair use

15. Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care

Last—but certainly not least—remember, rest and self-care are vital for creative energy. It's vital to take breaks regularly to recharge the mind and body. So, designers should engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation—such as physical exercise, hobbies or spending time with loved ones. They should prioritize sleep and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and maintain the creative flow. Human-centered design is a design discipline, but it takes on another sense here. So, it's important for designers—as one profession among others who can use these techniques—to make sure they center their concerns around the most important part of the creative process: themselves as human beings.

Illustration of a person riding a bicycle.

Designers are far more than a brain-sized idea factory—so they should get out and enjoy some screen-free time exercising!

© Aakash Jethwani / Octet Design Studio, Fair Use

Professor Alan Dix offers a few more techniques to help get fresh perspectives and fuel creativity.

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Famous UX Designers and Authors on Creative Blocks

Even experienced and renowned UX designers have faced creative blocks throughout their careers. Here are a few insights from famous designers and authors on how they handle creative blocks:

  • Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, suggests taking a break and engaging in physical activity to promote creativity and overcome mental blocks.

  • Don't be afraid to start over. Irene Au, former Head of Design at Google, emphasizes the importance of being willing to scrap ideas and iterate until the best solution turns up.

  • Author Austin Kleon encourages designers to embrace constraints and limitations, because they can spark creativity and force them to find innovative solutions.

Example of a Brand That Overcame a Creative Block

Numerous brands have faced creative blocks but successfully managed to overcome them—here is a notable example:

Apple

In the late 1990s, Apple was experiencing a creative block and struggling to innovate. Steve Jobs returned to the company and implemented a design-focused approach, emphasizing simplicity, elegance, and user-centered design. This shift in mindset led to the creation of iconic products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. Apple leveraged its resilience, adaptability and user-centric approach to overcome creative blocks and encourage innovation.

Remember, creative blocks are an inevitable part of a designer's journey. They don't have to hinder progress or dampen creativity. However hopeless a block may appear at the time, one can navigate through it and unlock creative potential. From there, a designer can create meaningful and impactful user experiences. So, designers should try some of these techniques to unlock their innovation, unleash their imagination—and design experiences that really inspire and delight users. On the way, they’ll become more acquainted with the creative genius they have within them as designers.

Learn More about Creative Blocks

Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services.

Read our piece Understand The Various Types of Creativity for further insights.

Take our masterclass, Harness Your Creativity to Design Better Products.

Read this highly insightful article, 9 Ways For UX Designers to Overcome Creative Block | Emily Stevens.  

For further in-depth insights into creative blocks, see Learnings of Overcoming Creative Blocks as a Designer | Sabrina Couto.

Questions related to Creative Block

How to overcome creative block?

Creative block happens to everyone—in working environments and other areas of a person’s life. It can help if you identify emotionally or intellectually challenging tasks and avoid displacement activities like checking email. It's good to try to break the task down into more manageable parts. Work on easier sections first to build momentum for the long term.

Give yourself mental space by postponing the challenging aspects temporarily. For decision-making roadblocks, techniques like constructive procrastination, prototypes and research can inform your choice. Deadlines provide external motivation—even though results vary from person to person. Sharing goals and progress with others offers you accountability on the road of the creative process. So, make a personal commitment to push through, whatever amounts of time are involved. Lower the stakes by sketching ideas before final decisions.

Most importantly of all, prioritize exciting tasks that engage you—fully. Tackle first thing in the morning whatever has your enthusiasm for problem solving. This energy is something that boosts productivity substantially. Remember, no one strategy works perfectly every time. Certain techniques fit particular personalities, work types and situations better than others. Still, if you combine approaches systematically, it can help overcome impasses to deliver creative breakthroughs.

For more strategies, see Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix’s video:

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What causes creative block?

Creative block is a common problem that many designers face. It's a state of mind where you can't come up with new ideas or solutions. Several factors can cause creative block, including:

Stress: High stress levels can lead to mental exhaustion and make it difficult to think creatively. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can leave you feeling with a lack of mental energy to engage in problem solving.

Fear of failure: The fear of not being able to come up with good ideas—or the fear of not meeting expectations—can be paralyzing. In a work environment, this can translate to flagging energy levels, brain fog, the inability to pay attention to potentially inspirational sources—and more.

Lack of inspiration: Sometimes, designers can feel uninspired or lack motivation to create. This can occur in any area of your life. Even so, if you feel mentally lackluster, it can get in the way of inspirational thoughts coming in the short term in your work.

Overthinking: Overanalyzing a problem or idea can lead to mental fatigue—and it can make it difficult to think creatively. In the same sense as being overly physically active, when you commit so much mental bandwidth to something, you can end up feeling tired and even more hemmed in from becoming creative.

In this video by Professor Alan Dix, HCI expert, he suggests that creative block can come from a lack of diversity in one's experiences. He recommends trying new things and exposing oneself to different cultures, ideas, and perspectives to help overcome creative blocks.

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Can anxiety cause creative block?

Yes, anxiety can bring on creative block.

We all experience anxiety from time to time. It can come from external pressures or internal stress. In any case, it can impede your creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. The stress hormone often comes into play in the short term for activities such as job interviews. And it can keep good ideas away.

The heightened stress levels associated with feeling anxious can lead to overthinking, self-doubt, and feeling preoccupied with potential negative outcomes. Stress can have unpleasant physical symptoms—such as high blood pressure or an impaired immune system. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can disrupt the flow of creative ideas. Feeling stressed or being in stressful situations make it challenging to generate and explore new concepts.

Anxiety often creates a sense of fear about making mistakes or taking creative risks. This fear of failure acts similarly to the fight-or-flight response. It can paralyze creative thinking and prevent you from exploring uncharted territory.

You can help yourself lessen the impact of anxiety on your creativity. Address the root causes of your stress and use relaxation techniques or mindfulness practices. Daily life sometimes involves potentially stressful situations. However, if you’re experiencing chronic stress, negative thoughts or panic attacks—be sure to check in with yourself. Consider self-care exercises such as deep breathing, becoming more physically active, or seeing a mental health professional. If you manage anxiety effectively, you can unlock your creative potential—and overcome creative block.

Understanding this connection between anxiety and creative block is a crucial part of fostering a more productive and innovative mindset.

Can collaboration with other designers help overcome creative blocks?

Yes, and here's how collaboration helps in overcoming creative blocks:

Diverse perspectives: Different designers have their own unique ways of thinking and solving problems. If you collaborate with others, it allows for the exchange of these diverse perspectives—something that leads to more creative and well-rounded solutions.

Idea generation: Brainstorming sessions with other designers can bring on a wider range of ideas than working alone. These sessions can spark new thoughts or approaches that one mightn't have considered independently.

Feedback and critique: Feedback from peers can shed new insights on a project. Constructive criticism can help identify areas for improvement—and inspire new directions.

Motivation and support: If you work in a team, it can be motivating. The support and encouragement from your fellow designers can help push through creative blocks and maintain momentum on your project.

Learning and skill sharing: Collaboration is a chance to learn from each other. Designers can share their expertise and skills—providing valuable learning experiences that can inspire new creative approaches.

Combining strengths: Each designer has their own strengths. So, working together allows for the combination of these strengths—something that leads to more effective and innovative designs.

What are the effects of social media and digital distractions on creative blocks?

Social media and digital distractions can have a notable impact on creativity, and often contribute to creative blocks. Here’s how they affect the creative process:

Interrupted flow: Frequent interruptions from social media and digital notifications can disrupt the creative flow. The state of deep concentration, or 'flow', is essential for creative thinking and problem-solving. Distractions break this state, and they make it harder to return to a productive creative mindset.

Information overload: Constant exposure to information and stimuli from digital platforms can lead to cognitive overload. This bombardment of information can make it challenging to focus and process thoughts clearly—something that hinders creative thinking.

Reduced reflection time: Creativity often requires periods of reflection and subconscious processing. Digital distractions can reduce the downtime necessary for these processes, as the mind's constantly engaged with incoming stimuli.

Impaired problem-solving ability: The distraction that social media and digital devices can cause can impair cognitive functions like memory, attention and problem-solving—crucial for creativity.

Increased stress and anxiety: Overuse of digital devices and social media can bring on increased stress and anxiety—which aren't conducive to creativity. A relaxed and open mind is more likely to generate innovative ideas

Nonetheless, it's important to note that digital platforms can also be sources of inspiration and collaboration—if used mindfully. The key is to find a balance and manage the use of digital devices to minimize their disruptive impact on the creative process.

Can mindfulness and meditation techniques help in dealing with creative blocks?

Mindfulness and meditation techniques can be highly effective ways of dealing with creative blocks. These practices help in several ways:

Reducing stress and anxiety: Mindfulness and meditation can lower stress and anxiety levels—often barriers to creativity. A relaxed mind is more open to new ideas and creative thinking than a stressed or anxious one is.

Enhancing focus and concentration: Regular mindfulness practice improves focus and concentration—permitting deeper and more sustained engagement with creative tasks.

Boosting cognitive flexibility: Meditation can enhance cognitive flexibility—which is the ability to see things from different perspectives. That's a key aspect of creative problem-solving.

Improving emotional regulation: From cultivating a greater awareness of one's thoughts and feelings, mindfulness can help in managing emotions that may get in the way of the creative process.

Encouraging openness to new experiences: Mindfulness promotes openness and curiosity—things that are important for exploring new ideas and approaches in creative work.

Fostering subconscious processing: Meditation and mindfulness provide the mental space for ideas to incubate—letting the subconscious mind work on creative problems.

Overall, incorporating mindfulness and meditation into one's routine can create a more conducive mental environment for overcoming creative blocks—and fostering creativity, too.

What are some good academic sources on the subject of “creative blocks”?

Here are some academic sources on the subject of "creative blocks":

1. Runco, M. A., & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The standard definition of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24(1), 92-96. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400419.2012.650092

This article presents the standard definition of creativity, which has been influential in the field of creative blocks. The definition proposes that creativity involves the production of novel and useful ideas, and that overcoming creative blocks requires the ability to generate a variety of ideas.

2. Cropley, A. J. (2006). In praise of convergent thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), 391-404. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15326934crj1803_13

This article challenges the notion that divergent thinking is always superior to convergent thinking and has been influential in the field of creative blocks. It suggests that convergent thinking can be helpful in overcoming creative blocks and generating innovative and useful ideas.

What are some good books that cover the subject “creative blocks” well?

Here are some popular books on "Creative blocks":

1. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Harper Perennial.

This book is a classic in the field of creativity and has been influential in the study of creative blocks. It provides insights into the psychology of creativity and flow and offers strategies for overcoming creative blocks.

2. Pressfield, S. (2002). The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Black Irish Entertainment LLC.

This book is a practical guide for overcoming creative blocks and has been influential in the field of creative blocks. It provides insights into the psychological aspects of creative blocks and offers strategies for overcoming them.

3. De Bono, E. (1992). Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas. HarperCollins.

This book explores the concept of lateral thinking and has been influential in the field of creative blocks. It provides insights into how to generate new ideas and overcome creative blocks by thinking outside the box.

Where to learn more about creative blocks?
What are 5 common blockers to creative thinking?

Here are 5 common blockers to creative thinking:

1. Perfectionism. The desire to get it “just right” stops you from freely exploring ideas and inhibits you as a creative thinker.

So, let go of unrealistic standards to think more openly and home in on creative ideas.

2. Overanalyzing. Excessive analysis prevents acting on intuition. Don't get stuck evaluating every possibility. Move forward based on what feels promising.

Soon, you’ll likely be learning and growing with good ideas that can overcome that mental block and light the way to great solutions to problems.

3. Fear of judgment. Worrying about negative feedback restricts the imagination. Focus on the work, not on outside opinions. To avoid challenges puts unrealistic expectations on yourself—they’re part of daily life.

So, when you have to solve problems, see it as a chance to learn and head towards innovative ideas.

4. Multitasking. Divided attention inhibits deep creative thought. Give your full concentration to one task at a time to stoke your creative process and creative problem-solving engine.

5. Fixed mindset. The belief creativity is innate, not learnable, limits potential. So, develop a growth mindset that's open to expanding skills over time. That difference between fixed and growth mindsets can be the key to find inspiration.

Tackling easier preparations, constructive procrastination, deadline setting and prioritizing intrinsic motivation can all help get ideas flowing again. What matters most is actually taking action.

Literature on Creative Blocks

Here’s the entire UX literature on Creative Blocks by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Creative Blocks

Take a deep dive into Creative Blocks with our course Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services .

The overall goal of this course is to help you design better products, services and experiences by helping you and your team develop innovative and useful solutions. You’ll learn a human-focused, creative design process.

We’re going to show you what creativity is as well as a wealth of ideation methods―both for generating new ideas and for developing your ideas further. You’ll learn skills and step-by-step methods you can use throughout the entire creative process. We’ll supply you with lots of templates and guides so by the end of the course you’ll have lots of hands-on methods you can use for your and your team’s ideation sessions. You’re also going to learn how to plan and time-manage a creative process effectively.

Most of us need to be creative in our work regardless of if we design user interfaces, write content for a website, work out appropriate workflows for an organization or program new algorithms for system backend. However, we all get those times when the creative step, which we so desperately need, simply does not come. That can seem scary—but trust us when we say that anyone can learn how to be creative­ on demand. This course will teach you ways to break the impasse of the empty page. We'll teach you methods which will help you find novel and useful solutions to a particular problem, be it in interaction design, graphics, code or something completely different. It’s not a magic creativity machine, but when you learn to put yourself in this creative mental state, new and exciting things will happen.

In the “Build Your Portfolio: Ideation Project”, you’ll find a series of practical exercises which together form a complete ideation project so you can get your hands dirty right away. If you want to complete these optional exercises, you will get hands-on experience with the methods you learn and in the process you’ll create a case study for your portfolio which you can show your future employer or freelance customers.

Your instructor is Alan Dix. He’s a creativity expert, professor and co-author of the most popular and impactful textbook in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Alan has worked with creativity for the last 30+ years, and he’ll teach you his favorite techniques as well as show you how to make room for creativity in your everyday work and life.

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve completed the course. You can highlight it on your resume, your LinkedIn profile or your website.

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