Designer Fair – Presentation

I had the incredible opportunity of representing TinyCo at the Designer Fair with my co-worker Laurie today. Stanford is a lovely campus, although confusing streets! The weather was incredible and the amount of people that showed up was amazing. There must have been at least 500 + people. I met some many people and hope to build upon those connections made.

Here is the presentation on the topic I spoke about!

Research – Design’s Best Friend

Design research is about making yourself more innovative and making sure you’re following in the right footsteps and also making your own. 

Competitor Research
Find out who your competitors are, depending on your design market.  You can research competitors that fit your style and design preference through Dribbble for design, print design and the App Store for utility and game apps. But also keep in mind it’s good to be unique, which means you’ll attract unique clients. Competitor research is more for when you are developing a design product.

Trending Design – But Beware
Creating timeless design is one of the greatest challenges. It’s good practice to take certain design trends for inspiration. But it’s not always healthy in the long run to follow them, because trends do end.

 Logo Research
When creating a logo, research logos to make sure you’re not copying anyone else’s design. Gather inspiration but innovate on your projects. Clients are looking for unique work that represents who they are.

Valid UX
Research to stay up to date on UX design. Just because a new UX design happens, doesn’t mean it’s right. Research to make sure its the best solution for your UX problem or project. Test, test, and do more testing.

Research by Conversation
Follow designers on twitter and watch the feed to see what people are talking about. Designers are open about their opinions and will talk strongly about good and bad design.  You could even hash tag #Design and follow feeds related to design.

Q: What are ways you research to enhance design skills and also for projects?

Inspiration in the Sky

When I fly, I get so excited because it’s a time for me that I have to unplug from the outside world. I feel for some reason that when I am in the sky I feel closer to my thoughts and that anything is possible. Maybe it’s because as humans we are not designed to fly, we were not born with wings. But we’ve been innovative to make our own. If you heard someone say that one day we’d fly in the sky in a silver tube, the person would probably just look at you odd. But because such technology now exists from such a foreign thought, I feel that when I am in the sky, I am able dream a lot clearer.

I’ve been stuck on a few projects of my own and during the flight I felt that I had ideas were a flood. A large part was just being inspired by the beauty below me and the ocean. The other side was just unplugging from my phone. Sometimes we feed off other people to be our inspiration, when really we just need to feed off our own minds. As creatives we have brilliant ideas going through each of us everyday. It just takes discipline to tap out of the digital world, unplug, and focus on what we ourselves see in our work.

One exercise that really helps when you are out of ideas, is to walk up to a white wall and just stare at it. Wait till you get extremely bored of it and have already found all the dirty spots. After awhile, imagine drawing anything on that white wall. Maybe it’s your project, design, or unicorns with sparkles. This really creates a great exercise for your brain, that allows you to pull out your creative side within yourself and not from anything or anyone else.

That’s all I have today, but even if you don’t know where to go, hop on a plane sometime.  It’s amazing to get away.