March 19, 2024
UI/UX Inspiration

How To Overcome The Creative Block as a UI/UX Designer

Going through a creative block can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. So, learn how to overcome this creative block as a UI/UX designer.
Cristi Fonea
March 19, 2024
How To Overcome The Creative Block As a UI/UX Designer

We get it – we’ve all felt stuck. We’ve all felt like our creative juices were no longer flowing, and everything we design is just not good enough. Don’t worry – this is a common occurrence for every UI/UX designer. 

Going through a creative block can be extremely frustrating and discouraging for a UI UX designer, as our entire work life revolves around the concept of creativity. There are many reasons why an episode as such can be triggered, and there are ways we can cope with that.

However, one of the most common factors is stress. When we are stressed, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of what we are working on. Stress is a common occurrence, and sometimes it can trigger anxiety. When anxiety kicks in, we enter our fight or flight mode, which makes it really difficult to maintain a productive flow of the imagination. 

Lack of motivation is among the most frequent reasons we experience creative blocks. It is easy to lose interest when you are working on something you are not invested in. Finding something you love and doing it with passion sounds really nice. However, when that happens, we can find ways to find our creativity. Even if you genuinely like creating most of your projects, some of them may just not fit your personality and preferences, making you lose drive.

Sometimes it is enough for some negative feedback to make a designer develop a creative block. Although criticism can be constructive, it depends from person to person how much they can handle. It is hard not to take criticism and rejection personally when you have invested so much time and energy into your designs.

No matter how you reach the point of a creative block, it is important to know how you can manage it and eventually break out of it. 

How Do You Overcome the Creativity Block?

1. Prepare Yourself

Most UI/UX designers will experience a creative block at least once in their careers. Instead of viewing it as a catastrophic event, we should focus on ways to predict it and know how to deal with it. Most of the time there are clear signs that we will go through a rougher period. Ignoring a problem until it magically disappears is not a viable option.

Imagination does not run in a straight line, it fluctuates. In the same way, we should manage our expectations and avoid excessive self-doubt when we are experiencing a less creative period. Are we slowly becoming less productive on a day-to-day basis? Are we becoming increasingly dissatisfied with our product designs? Looking for signs may help alleviate the impact of a creative block.

2. Try To Identify The Trigger Of The Creativity Block

It is quite rare that a creative block occurs out of the blue. Whether you have become increasingly stressed with deadlines for a big project or events from your private life have been keeping you up at night, it might be really helpful to identify the root of the problem. 

There are three useful questions that creatives recommend asking ourselves when we are experiencing a creative block:

  • What am I working on?
  • Why do I feel like this is impossible?
  • How can I change my perspective to meet my goals?

By following this train of thought, we allow ourselves to debrief and head straight to the trigger of our creative block so that we can manage and overcome the creative block.

3. Face Your Fears

We are now in the middle of a creative block. We cannot estimate how long it will take. Panicking is not going to help our case. It often happens that we will experience low imaginativeness because we are afraid that we are doing things wrong - or not good enough.

Sometimes being a perfectionist can be the biggest enemy of creativity, and we as UI UX designers should be aware of that. A creative process entails that we submit ourselves to trial and error. We allow ourselves to dream and experiment with interesting product design ideas, But when we overanalyze every single detail in our project, we can risk hindering its artistry.

4. Set Creative Boundaries

Every UI/UX designer functions differently. However, setting some creative boundaries may be more helpful than you would think. Especially when a UX UI designer is dealing with more abstract concepts, it is easy to get lost between details.

If you feel that you just cannot come up with new ideas for your web design or app design, take a step back. Many creatives give the advice of focusing on one element of your work in these situations. That way, the work feels less overwhelming and you can tackle one task at a time.

Another boundary you could set is the amount of work you put in. For example, if you were used to working on a web design for eight hours a day, you could lower that number until you feel comfortable getting back where you were. Overworking yourself can hinder your creativity. 

5. Talk to Other Designers

When we deal with a problem on our own, it may seem way more severe than it actually is. Chances are that when you talk to other UI/UX designers, they have already experienced what you are going through! The community of UI/UX designers is big, and someone is always willing to help you overcome the creative block. 

Our jobs are built on the idea of collaboration with other people from our branch. An experienced person might already have strategies for handling a creative obstruction. Even if they might not provide you with a clear-cut solution, it can be a lifesaver to view your struggles through a fresh pair of eyes. If you do not have UI/UX designers close to you, there are various forums on the internet where you can discuss and join designer communities. 

6. Explore Different Perspectives

Doing the same thing every day for long periods of time does not leave a lot of room for the imagination to flourish. If we want to seek out new perspectives, we have to get out of the ordinary. This does not mean that you need to move across the country and start a new life. It is about implementing different habits that you are not used to performing daily. It could be taking walks in nature, watching a captivating show, exploring other UI designers’ work, and so on.

These activities that break your routine may help with opening up to perspectives you have not yet scrutinized. Trying new things can be intimidating. But getting stuck in the same routine leads to a dead-end road. 

7. Go Back To What You Like

Ah, the good old days. Obsessively reminiscing about when times were better and your creativity felt like an endless well is not going to help anyone. However, going back to the basics could bring a lot of inspiration back.

Why did you get into UI/UX design in the first place? What is it that you love about your job? What are your favorite things about designing? You might want to take a look at some of your older web design or app designs and view them through a fresh and refined lens. Sometimes when we become really great at something it is easy to forget how much we had to work and learn to get to that point. Allow yourself to revisit older ideas and let your imagination recharge.

8. Reorganize Your Working Space

Sometimes the call is coming from inside the house and we do not even realize it. During a creative crisis, we might begin to spiral and fail to seek out simple changes in our lives that could remarkably improve our situation. If the place from which we perform all our work as designers is not inspiring to us, we might have a problem.

Try to switch up your working space in order to overcome the creative block. Maybe you are working from home and are getting a little stiff - try working from a cafe you enjoy. Maybe your office is becoming cramped - reorganize the table to have things in place, and invest in new tools that make you more productive and excited about designing.

Try to put at least some of these tips into practice and remember that you are not alone during these hard times. There are always solutions that can be put into place and other UI/UX designers that you can ask for suggestions and guidance.

uinkits – Our Figma UI Kit

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system components, including variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
March 19, 2024

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