5 Ways to Get Past UX Designer’s Block

Kevin Vigneault, Vice President of Product Services

Article Category: #Design & Content

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Like any other creative professional, I get stuck from time to time moving forward with my designs. When this happens, I find the following techniques to be helpful.

1: Stop Thinking So Much

Often, my creative blockage is simply a product of overthinking. I'm trying to reinvent the wheel. In these cases, I ask myself questions like "Have we already established a design for a similar piece of content on this site?" or "Would a simpler, more standard pattern be good enough for this interaction?"

2: Take a Step Back

Putting the blinders on and zooming in on a specific element of a page or a particular step in a flow can be a good thing. That kind of hyper-focus can lead to precision and thoughtfulness. However, it can also lead to getting tripped up on the small things. When I get stuck on the details of a page layout, zooming out helps me see the big picture and move forward.

4: Do Some Research

I'm not always as prepared to design a solution as I thought I was when I fired up Omnigraffle or grabbed a pen and paper. In these cases, I do some light research on the topic or check out designs that others have used to solve similar problems.

3: Separate Entirely

Sometimes, there's no avoiding the need to just clear your mind. I've never been particularly good at putting my head down and powering through a problem. For me, getting up and walking around the office, grabbing a soda, or reading a blog post can be very effective ways to get past blockers. Once I've taken a little break, I come back to the problem and see if any new ideas pop into my head.

5: Ask For Help

Fortunately, I have a great team of other UX designers (as well as a bunch of other specialists at Viget) that I can bounce ideas off of and get valuable feedback. Often, just the act of expressing my problems to someone else will lead to a solution.

Kevin Vigneault

Kevin is Viget's VP of Product Services in our Falls Church, VA, HQ. He concepts, launches, and optimizes products for the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, Privia Health, and OPOWER.

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