My favorite thing about design is also my least favorite thing – in design, there are no right answers. On one hand, this is great. With every new project, the sky's the limit. On the other hand, this is totally daunting – how do we know what we’re creating isn’t complete crap?
Furthermore, working in an agency often means we’re strapped for time and budget. The added pressure of getting everything done doesn’t always cultivate creativity.
Balancing pie-in-the-sky creative possibilities with strict timelines and budgets is not a task for the faint of heart. Under pressure, it’s easy to rely on top-down, traditional problem-solving paths that allow us to be efficient, but don’t always result in our best work.
Working within these two constraints isn’t easy, but it’s possible to think creatively and meet deadlines if you’ve got the right tools. Outside of traditional UX practices like user testing, research, and collaboration, I like to employ a little tool called lateral thinking.