The dreaded blank page

By Chris Varosy
A blank piece of paper on my desk, with one of my favorite Zebra ball point pens.

The dreaded blank page is a high mountain to climb.

Whether you’re designing, writing or coding, it’s hard to start when you have unlimited possibilities.

So how do you get a foothold?

One word that comes to mind is constraint. You always have limitations in your assignment, and gathering those always helps me focus in on the right possibilities. So if I’m sketching ideas for an identity, I’ll get out the creative brief, so I have a the brand attributes in front of me. If I’m sketching ideas for wireframes, I’ll gather a list of user tasks I need to solve for, and then list possible screens, then list possible screen elements for each.

Sometimes you get a vague assignment. That’s when you need to ADD constraints, either by asking for more information or by introducing structure yourself.

Something else that can unfreeze you when you are at the foot of the blank page mountain is to allow yourself to make mistakes. The first line of your novel isn’t going to be the first words you type. The first sketch is a warm-up. You can even intentionally do something bad first just to break the ice. Draw or write what would be awful, have a good laugh, and then use it to conjure the opposite of awful.

After your first small step, the rest will feel a lot easier.

#creative #design #sketching #ux #userexperience #productdesign #primitivespark