Do you struggle to generate new design ideas?
Finding the unique way to design something is being difficult day by day?
You are not alone here!
The most common question I get from my subscribers and students is how to generate new design ideas.
I also asked this question to many designers when I started. And the most common answer I got was, see other’s works. I tried to see other’s works. I knew where to see others works. But the problem was, I didn’t know how to see and follow other works so that I can generate new ideas, not just copying their works.
No one couldn’t tell me how to see other works. And that’s the most important part of that advice. If you don’t know how to see and follow others, you will just end up copying them blindly.
In this post, I am going to help you to find that missing answer. I will share the step by step process of how to generate new design ideas. No matter what you are designing, if you follow these steps, you will be able to generate new ideas easily.
Let’s say we need to design a login screen for a mobile app. Now you and I will try to figure out how to generate better login screen ideas step by step.
Step 1: Explore other’s works:
This is the first step and you probably heard about it already. In this step, we will try to explore login screen designs which others have done.
There are many websites where we can get app design ideas. Here are a few websites you may try to get app design ideas:
By searching Google, you can find many more websites where they curate designs regularly.
Step 2: Collect screenshots:
When we are watching other’s works, we should not just see, we will collect designs in a single place. We will need it later.
To collect the designs, we will simply take screenshots of the designs we like and we will paste those screenshots in either InVision App, Google Doc or Dropbox Paper or any similar tools where we can see all screenshots at a time. It will look like the screenshot below:
Step 3: Find the basics:
After collecting the UI screens, it’s time to find the basics of the design we are going to do. Every single design has a few basics which we cannot ignore. Otherwise, it will destroy the UX (User experience) easily.
One thing to remember here. When you will explore, you will see many designs which haven’t placed the login form directly on the first step. Rather, the designers use a few buttons to choose first and then they show the form based on user action. And this thing can happen in every form of designs. It’s the UX decision on how to approach.
For now, we will keep UX decision on the side and we will directly use the form.
To find the basics, we need to find out the common things in different designs. Here, in the login screen, we can see a few things in common.
- A Title which is referring to login
- Login form with Email and Password
- Action Button
- Forgot password
- Registration Button
- And some has social media login buttons
Step 4: Sketch the plans:
Now when we have the design screenshots, the basics of the specific design, it’s time to go back to the pen and paper. In this step, we will sketch our plans based on the resources we have got till now.
This is the most important part of this step. Because in this step, we will follow other’s work, but we will not copy them. There are a few steps which we need to follow:
- Do not copy the exact same structure on your sketch.
- Change the look of the shapes.
- Use different background styles from the designs you are following.
We don’t need to spend a lot of time on the sketches. Sketches should be minimal. We are going sketch 2-3 screens on pen and paper by keeping the points in mind so that it becomes unique. Here are the rough sketches:
Now, when we are done with the sketch, we are going to select one or maybe we can mix the sketches all together and create another new one if needed.
Here is our final sketch. So that you understand it better, I have mentioned the elements on the sketch here. You don’t need to do that if you are doing it alone.
Step 5: Final step
We have reached the final step here. It’s time to create visual design based on our final sketch.
To keep the design unique and better, one thing we need to keep in mind.
We should not copy the exact same fonts or color styles from a design. Even if we don’t follow the design structure of an existing design, if we directly copy the fonts and colors, both design may look the same because of those. Here is an example:
You can see that both designs are looking almost the same where we didn’t even follow the same structure. Just because of using the same color and font style, both are looking the same.
If you really like the font of any design, just don’t copy the exact same font size from the inspiration design.
Now we know what to follow and what to ignore, we can design visuals. Our login screen would look like this after completing:
These are the exact process you can follow to generate new ideas for whatever you are designing. These steps work for any kind of Graphic Designs or UI Designs. Follow these and start creating unique designs.
How do you generate new design ideas? Let me know in the comment box if you think these tips can help you generate new ideas.
I would greatly appreciate it if you shared this post on Facebook or any other social platform of your choice. And please let other people know about this so that they can improve themselves too.