Problem solving made easy!

I was talking to an old friend of mine last week about why I became a designer instead of staying a fine artist. The more I explained what I love about design, the more I begin to realize that I see myself as a problem solver, who just happens to work visually. The things I love about design, (aside from all of the luscious colors, details, flourishes, typography…. ) has always been the ability to translate the problem, and solve it in a beautiful, efficient and practical way.

But here’s the thing, it’s the exact same process I use to solve ANY problem- visual, life based, whatever the situation may be.

Anyone who’s worked with me knows that I am a huge purveyor of “what CAN be”. I think my favorite answer to “what do you think” might be “sure, why not, it could be anything!”
The ability to start from nothing and reach out to everything really ensures that you will have tackled any direction a problem could have, but it starts with writing out everything your brain thinks of – WITHOUT EDITING!

Editing right now gets you into “PERFECT NOW” mode, which is actually really counterproductive.

Have you ever tried to force yourself to make something perfect right off the bat, first try?

Have you ever succeeded in it?

Okay.

Next, I like to hear what the expectations are, or what SHOULD be done. Nobody lives in should-land, and I tell people over and over again that there is no set “way”, it’s person dependent. It’s what the individual client sees for the individual business, not for others. It may sound weird, but it is totally true.

Usually this comes from viewing competitors, or applying how others handle their business to what you are currently doing, the pressures of success and outside influences, etc. Filter these comments and observations to what you can honestly and easily see yourself doing, and you will be much kinder on yourself expectation wise.

The last thing I like to really focus on in terms of a decision, is what I want to do. What’s going to make me happiest, outcome wise. I keep this last for a couple of reasons,

1) I’ve been practical for the other 2 rounds, it’s going to keep me grounded while I “dream big” and

2) these are the things I’m most likely willing to put forth the effort and actually “do”. While the coulds and shoulds are a fantastic guideline for others success, what feels right to you in terms of natural tendency and enjoyment is going to influence your action overall. You may as well just admit it now.

See? Isn’t that better?

At this point, somewhere along all of those questions and answers, is the ‘right decision’, and as terribly cliché as it sounds, you’ll know it when you see it. All you need to do is be patient during the ‘exploration stage’ (a term both applicable to the scientific method as well as any industry in the design field), and give yourself the wiggle room to change and grow as necessary.

A problem is a problem is a problem, so it suits to reason that with a logical process, it all can be solved calmly practically and gracefully.

I hope this helps!

Until next time!
xo,
jne

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