As designer you always need to be inspired, in fact that’s part of your job. But time to time the inspiration can go away and you start feeling unable to get something out. This situation happens very often for creators, at least 1 time each quarter for my part. As Lead Designer (at Mention.com) this issue remains a priority to keep everyone in the team inspired. To do so I decided to take several initiatives, including the setup of a Creative Day. But what is a Creative Day? Well it is the same principle as a level-up, where designers can work on the subject of their choice in order to improve their knowledge. Here is a couple of insights that we gathered at Mention👇
‘’You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward or uncomfortable while trying something new.’’
The main goal of a Creative Day is therefore to get out of the comfort zone. Designers can work on whatever they want as long as it’s not a company’s project. Here is few examples of projects we’ve been working on:
- Redesign a website or an app
- Explore a new tool/dev language
- Create design ressource (icons/freebies…)
- Improve wireframes skills
- Or even … publish a Blog post (you got me!)
9:30AM — Team kickoff
The day start with a small kickoff to remain the millestones and objectives of the day. Then everyone takes few minutes to explain their project and the goal they want to achieve. (eg: being able to do a simple After Effect animation at the end of the day).
9:45AM — Research/Executions
Right after the kickoff designers start to do some research in order to organize their journey. Once ideas are clear & precise everyone starts to work on their own to be as autonomous as possible.
12AM — Project Update
Each designer present their progress and ask for feedbacks if needed. This is usually the time where designers interact with each other about the problems encountered etc …
6PM — Project Presentation
At the end of the day we’re doing a small keynote where designers present a 10min speech recalling their day and project. The interest of this presentation is to see how everyone managed their time but also to ask about the way they resolved issues and what they learned on the way. Another positive point is that people outside the design team attend to this presentation and ask quesitons from an exterior point of view. It’s not about presenting “his day”, it’s about sharing. A moment where everyone interact and learn something new.
Here are some results from our first creative day. If you want to have a look:
So, what should we remember from a day like this? One thing I can confirm is that a Creative Day lets you learn something and get out of your comfort zone. Whether on a new skill, a tool or even on yourself. It helps you grow.
As I said from the beginning of this article you could feel “no longer inspired” by being in a company, mostly because of guidelines and legacy design. With this type of day you can therefore get out of these constraints by working on something which is not in your daily routine. It’s all about you learning/working on something different, at the rhythm you want.
But what is the next step to get even more inspired? I’m currently working on a collection called “D Series” where I will be posting about other initiatives. Stay tuned …
Special thanks to Cyril Canete for the help on this article ✌️