Congratulations for unlocking this box of ideas!

A supersaturated solution is one in which the saturation point, at which no more material will dissolve, has been exceeded for all temperatures. When you dissolve the material at a high temperature and then cool the solution, the material sometimes doesn’t crystallize out because the molecules don’t know how. A supersaturated solution requires something to get it started, a seed crystal, or a grain of dust or even a sudden scratch or tap on the surrounding glass. What happens next?

Visualizing a eureka! moment

As a design student, I find myself trying to make sense about a lot of the things around me. Asking questions, hypothesizing and testing ideas and trying to make sense of everything.

I remember incidents where I have felt saturated by thinking about the problem and moved ahead with the idea which sucked the least. But this post is not about that, this post is about the few times how I experienced a seed crystal of thought, leading to a range of ideas after being super-saturated thinking about the problem.


Re-reading

We were required to read a lot in a course called Foundations of HCI last year in school. Over this summer, I have revisited some of those readings. I understood it wayyyy better this time. Revisiting the readings combined with my recent exposure to the UX industry, cleared my mind of so many questions I had.

Rarely have I understood anything completely on the third pass. Every time I go back and read that research paper or dense article, I end up finding relations to some of the other stuff I have got know in between. Sometimes the author references another reading and after inspecting both of them, you might also end up finding nuances which the author might have missed.

Alternate approach

Lately I have been reading a bit about neuroplasticity (thanks Braden!), last month it was science fiction, javascript before that and philosophy before that. The funniest thing is each of disciplines has gone through paradigm shifts similar to those in HCI. It is interesting to see the similarities across disciplines and how each of them solve it. Design is just a melting pot of disciplines.

Diversity of thought in teams leads to amazing outcomes. From time to time I borrow books on random topics to read or have conversations with people from varying backgrounds. The hardest problem in one field might as well be a trivial one in another.

Persistence

Having the belief that there will be a well designed product in the end while muddling through the swamp is key. I remember once our team ended up changing the design hours before the submission because we thought we had a better one.

We got our seed crystal for ideas mere hours before submission. In hindsight, changing the design at the final moment was a great call.


Ideas in design projects come in bunches, dry up for a while and then reappear. It is like having a seed crystal moment of ideas whenever your clarity of the problem increases, with you unlocking a new set of ideas which you had not thought of before.


Finally, I hope you get such moments of thought on your journey of the internet.

*The idea of the seed crystal of thought comes from the book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, one of my favorite.
Gifs are from Giphy