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Topic: Creativity

  • The Miseducation of the Doodle

    by Sunni Brown · Issue 322 ·

    The teacher who chastised you for “mindless doodling” was wrong on both counts. Far from shutting down the mind, the act of doodling engages the brain in the kind of visual sense-making people have practiced for over 30,000 years. Doodling sharpens concentration, increases retention, and enhances access to the problem solving unconscious. It activates the portions of the visual cortex that allow us to see mental imagery and manipulate concepts, and unifies three major learning modalities, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Doodle Revolution leader Sunni Brown introduces strategic doodling and presents the ABCs of our shared visual alphabet.

  • Design Criticism and the Creative Process

    by Cassie McDaniel · Issue 321 ·

    In every design project, at some point we quit what we're doing and share our unfinished work with colleagues or clients. This begs the question: Just what does the critique do for the design and the rest of the project? Do critiques really help and are they necessary? If so, how do we use their inconsistencies to improve our creative output? Cassie McDaniel explores how critiques can help us navigate complex processes and projects and collaborate effectively to create original and engaging work.

  • Habit Fields

    by Jack Cheng · Issue 305 ·

    We have the power to bestow our abilities onto the things around us. By being conscious of our tools, habits, and spaces, and actively conditioning them to help us behave the way we want to behave, maybe we can more efficiently tap into the thousands of hours of creative genius embedded in our everyday objects. Maybe we’ll be able to maximize the capabilities that new technologies afford us without being overwhelmed by the distractions. And, just maybe, we’ll remember what it feels like to be utterly engrossed in our daily work.

  • Redesigning Your Own Site

    by Lea Alcantara · Issue 289 ·

    Redesigning your freelance website is an exercise in masochism. There are no colleagues to share the pain: It’s just you. As the designer who wrote The Art of Self-Branding, freelancer Lea Alcantara knew her site had to be just right. People were bound to scrutinize any update to the design, and she couldn’t afford to damage her credibility. Follow her process as she experiments to find the perfect balance of change and consistency.

  • Taking the Guesswork Out of Design

    by Daniel Ritzenthaler · Issue 283 ·

    Clients, like other humans, often fear what they don't understand. Daniel Ritzenthaler explains how sound goal-setting, documentation, and communication strategies can bridge the gap between a designer's intuition and a client's need for proof.

  • Look at it Another Way

    by Indi Young · Issue 267 ·

    Before you can solve a user's problems, you must see them as that user sees them. Once you understand what drives people’s behavior, not only do new ideas flow freely, but the ideas that flow are appropriate and useful. Indi Young tells how to get out of your own way and hear what your users are telling you.

  • Saving the Spark: Developing Creative Ideas

    by Mark Boulton · Issue 260 ·

    Ideas are at the heart of every creative process. However, coming up with them can be hard work. Mark Boulton arms us with tools to meet this challenge.

  • On Creativity

    by Andy Rutledge · Issue 254 ·

    As designers, we're wrongly perceived as custodians and exponents of creativity. This matters because business currently overvalues creativity. To avoid the inevitable backlash, we must lead our clients' perceptions.

  • Understanding Web Design

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 249 ·

    We'll have better web design when we stop asking it to be something it's not, and start appreciating it for what it is. It's not print, not video, not a poster—and that's not a problem. Find out why cultural and business leaders misunderstand web design, and learn which other forms it most usefully resembles.

  • Get Out from Behind the Curtain

    by Sarah B. Nelson · Issue 245 ·

    Client input: positive process or creative noose? Many designers would probably say the latter. But it needn't be that way. Adaptive Path's Sarah Nelson shows how to create collaborative work sessions that take the clients' needs in hand while leaving creative control in yours.

  • Staying Motivated

    by Kevin Cornell · Issue 243 ·

    Been stuck in a creative rut so long so you've started to decorate it? A List Apart’s Kevin Cornell drops his crayons to share tips on developing and maintaining a productive creative routine.

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