Be nice. Or else.
UI Desginer Joined 4 months ago
If creativity is an engine then it needs fuel. Hitting a wall usually means the tank is empty. Do something that fuels you besides design. Whatever energizes you as a person, whether it is a bike ride or sasquatch hunting or spending time with friends. Begin working on a "someday" project that you are always delaying. It sounds a little bit Oprah, but that stuff really helps. The only thing that will definitely not fill the tank is doing more of the thing that emptied it.
Another big help for me is to gather a ton of inspiration from other people's work (dribbble, awwwards, product hunt, etc.) . I'll take screenshots and snippets of little pieces that I find, and collect all of them into my sketch document. Usually around 20-30 snippets. Then I incorporate those patterns into my designs and modify them to fit that project's needs. That's often when I have a big original breakthrough of my own.
Another technique I've used is to use timed iteration blasts with pen and paper. I'll say "I'm going to make 10 different versions of this in 5 minutes and then walk away." I rarely come up with a good idea directly from that, but an errant scribble will remind me of something that triggers a new thought, and then I end up having a good idea.
Perfect, thanks Marc! I dug and found this old blog post of theirs. Your theory is confirmed.
Freelancers depend on referrals, so they spend time building trust and becoming a source of authority for their clients. To the degree that they succeed, they can take ownership of projects. But they need to earn ownership with each new client. The advantage freelancers have in terms of ownership is that (eventually) they can choose which projects they work on, ignoring stuff they don't care about.
Conflicts arise for freelancers when a client does not trust the designer, opting to make changes by themselves. Ownership drains like a bathtub at that point. But you have to stand your ground. Mike Monteiro says that the biggest favor a designer can do for a client is to tell them "No." It's the designer's job to protect the client, if necessary, even from themselves. In my experience, needing to say "No" is less common in-house.
In-house designers develop trust and authority over time. By working with people on multiple projects, and getting the results they hoped for, an in-house designer is granted more ownership. Eventually you don't need to earn ownership any longer, it is implicit. The advantage you have is that you can explore deeply, and propose solutions that you would never have had time for if it were a freelance gig. So your ownership goes way up.
Conflicts arise for in-house designers when co-workers do not trust them. They may want to take control of projects for multiple reasons. If the company is big enough, office politics may be involved as one person attempts to gain power. That's something freelancers don't have to face.
Lottie is still groundbreaking at this point, especially since it is cross-platform. Other valid solutions are probably in the works but won't be launched for several months at least. Rather than searching around, I would recommend dedicating your resources to creating a good workflow using that tool.