What are your best practices for original design?

almost 2 years ago from , Designer

Im curious to know, how we as designers go about making sure our work is original as possible?

What type of research do you complete in order to avoid ideas and concepts that have already been tried or used? Or avoid similarities to brands / concepts that you may never have seen?

We are all used to seeing comments on blogs and forums saying “that reminds me of this” or “that looks like this” etc.

How do we all go about dealing with this part of the process?


  • Chris Aalid, almost 2 years ago

    Everything's been done. Everything is a remix. A lot of the problems that you're going to create a solution for are problems that have already been had. A lot of the solutions are things that have already been solved.

    Sometimes it's okay to follow the pack -- people expect a shopping cart checkout flow to look and feel familiar to other shopping cart checkouts.

    Sometimes it's good to break free -- where can you innovate away from the rest with a better solution for something?

    2 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, almost 2 years ago

    Usually an 'original' design isn't the best for the brief - I once went to a client with a design heavily inspired by the market leader and they demanded we create something original, so we went back to the drawing board and created something a little bit out there, perhaps using elements and interactions that were a little bit 'too' clever and forward thinking. Long story short the client loved it, but the users hated it - within 6 months a full overhaul was required and the design exists today as an almost exact replica of the market leader. Their decisions were backed up by years of data and feedback, ours were led by the desire to be original.

    I now look back at this project as a real turning point in my career from junior to senior, swallowing my pride and admitting this was the wrong thing to do, despite the oft-required stance of being a 'yes man' to clients.

    As a separate answer, I'd say I try to stay original by doing research not limited to the industry or medium your brand or product is for - this makes it easier to create an original concept from an amalgamation of inspiring colours/shapes/interactions etc from all walks of life.

    1 point