Developing Your Design Intuition

Developing Your Design Intuition

Design Intuition.

That gut feeling you have about a design direction, the one that comes to you in the middle of the night when you know the project has been overdone- or needs work.

Developing an intuition about your design work isn’t necessarily the hard part, but recognizing that its there and then following through on the correction of the issue at hand is key. I am fully aware that my best focus period for the day is between 7am and 11am. I know I can push through a project at twice the speed during those hours. Those four hours I put all of my “I need to get this done” items in my schedule.


Why does that matter for design intuition?

Knowing when you are going to be able to focus on a project and make swift and best judgement calls is just a part of getting to know yourself in a career-focused manner. Applying that focus to your design process, and knowing when to let my design intuition change the course of a project is the hardest part.

My best design projects are the ones that just happen all of a sudden, everything all together has a purpose and a place. I don’t need my design intuition to tell me to stop during these projects in fact I try not to move except for sustenance when the ball gets rolling. It’s when a project is stalled that letting your intuition take over is needed. 

I try to write down and keep notes when this happens so I know when things are going awry. Keeping a notebook or a system to take notes is key. Since I can’t keep the same notebook around, and sometimes am on different computers, I use a simple email draft system, I write my blog posts, project goals and thoughts about a projects issues in a draft, and come back to edit. This could be done on a google doc, or OneNote (that syncs between computers), EverNote could work for this as well… but I like my tried and true email draft system, its unorganized and organic, that way I just WRITE, instead of over-think.

Once you have a system in place for getting your thoughts out, you will be able to go back and edit and re-evaluate during your prime-time. Best advice is to get your thoughts down on “paper” and be able to evaluate them when you are going to do your best work.