Productivity Tips From The World's Top Designers

DESIGNERS FROM GOOGLE, ARGO, WORK & CO., USTWO, SAGMEISTER+WALSH, OKFOCUS, AND MORE TELL US HOW THEY STAY FOCUSED AND KEEP INNOVATING.

 

FOCUS ON DOING JUST ONE THING

A number of years ago, it was rumored that Steve Jobs took his inner circle on a corporate retreat to talk about company priorities. At the retreat, he went around the room and asked his inner circle their top priority for the year and jotted them down. At the end, he erased all but one priority and said, 'This is what we’re going to accomplish this year. We’re going to crush this one thing and do it better than anyone ever has. —Golden Krishna, senior UX designer, Zappos

BREAK DOWN BIG TASKS

I found breaking down big goals into smaller tasks to be the best way for me to get things done. I can make small progress and knock off these bite-size tasks whenever I have a moment. —Jannie Lai, head of UX, Light

Read

I voraciously consume science fiction and peruse several design blogs a day. It keeps the lateral thought pathways open. Vision pieces are not just marketing fluff. They exercise the design muscle one employs for clients. —Jared Ficklin, Argo Design

DO IT FOR THE HATERS

Think about all your haters and the people who don't believe in you. That's a huge motivator, as well as thinking about how good it feels to see something you made in the world. Focus on the ends and the means become easier. —Ryder Ripps, creative director, OKFocus

ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT

When I'm working on my own, I try to toggle back and forth between the overall structure of a design and the tiny details. I'll typically spend some time laying things out and trying to get everything on the page, but will then jump into the details, such as designing icons and getting them perfectly on a pixel. In my opinion, this is something that designers don't always spend enough time on. It slows you down, so you should do it for a while then return back to the overall design. I'll usually repeat this process until I'm happy with the work. Inevitably, if I get up from my desk and come back, I might hate the work and may even start over—but that's an important part of the process. —Ian Burns, group creative director, Huge

IMPOSE ORDER UPON CHAOS

A trick that keeps me productive and organized is naming my layers and having structure. I'm helpless without this process, but I've also seen great, fast designers who are fine skipping that step. Heaven help you if you have to open their files, though. —Ian Burns, group creative director, Huge

LET THINGS MARINATE

The problems that appear the simplest are usually the most interesting. They tend to be deceitfully simple, and can lead to either an obvious solution or to an elegant and complex solution. I don't tackle simple design problems right away. I let them linger in the back of my mind, sometimes for days. I often find that the most compelling solutions come from elsewhere. I am inspired by art and literature, various other disciplines, unusual materials and unexpected experiences. By taking my time with simple problems, I often find a truly elegant and unique solution. —Joanna Berzowska, head of electronic textiles, OMsignal

GET EXTREME

My number one productivity killer is 'more of the same.' UX people probably more than anyone else need stimulation to be productive and inspired. I catch myself being most productive if I challenge myself with new experiences at least once a week. For example, when you are observing blind users orient themselves, using their hands and their ears instead of their eyes in a way that you never knew you could, I immediately start generating ideas: What do these extreme experiences mean for technology? How could I transform my observations into innovative design ideas for everyone? —Astrid Weber, UX researcher, Google

Article Taken From: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3048065/32-productivity-tips-from-the-worlds-top-designers

 

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