Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HEY! That’s MY Idea! - How other peoples ideas should influence your work

We are always told at school not to copy our classmate’s work, not to write the same thing, but to create our own ideas. A rule that I completely agree with, but what about that time you sneaked a peak at your friends answer in a maths test to realize it was wrong and that actually from what you had seen you could work out the correct way of solving it. Or how about that time that you saw something and thought of a way to make that idea even better or even more effective.

Creative minds need feeding. We need to be surrounded by things around us that provoke thought, stir interest, make us question things. Designers keep up to date with design news not just because it interests them but because it opens their mind to new options and possibilities.

Being aware of existing and modern products gives designers the ability to think and evolve ideas to be bigger and better. Learning off existing products is the way we can build effectiveness of products, increase usability, boost reliability.

Take for example mobile phones, probably the most quickly evolving product on the market. Companies will evaluate competitors models and consider what works well on theirs, to work out a way that theirs can have this same function but BETTER.

When I brainstorm for design ideas I brainstorm not just by sitting there and thinking ‘hmmm what could I do’ but by browsing the internet, looking out the window, walking down the street. As a very visual person my way of brainstorming is by looking at things and distorting and changing them in my mind.

For example one time I was stuck for a product idea and I looked at my phone to check the time. Checking the time gave me way more than I was expecting. The circular forms and waves of my phone screensaver just set me off. I found myself with a pen and pencil transforming this 2D bubble effect into this crazy 3D product idea.

But why is it so frowned upon to take product ideas and to develop them further? There are so many times I see a product and think ‘ooh it could be made like this for a different market’ or ‘oooh this could be changed to make it easier or more comfortable to use’  Products should be developed and continuously worked on by new people to give them more effective uses. A design should never be classified as ‘finished’ in my opinion but something that should be seen as an ongoing development by society as a whole – Consumer demand should push for better designs and designers should be embracing this.

People should be influencing each other by bouncing to and fro with ideas.  We know this all too well in our design team when we bounce off each others creative ideas when brainstorming

We are always inspired by what we see around us. Drawing together our professional experience in design and our interesting chinese surroundings we always have a fresh take on things.

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