What is the difference between inspiration and discovery phase in Design

Design is not jumping behind your computer and start working — at least for me it isn’t. In the design process there are two phases that many people think are the same. This first phase is inspiration — where do you get it from? The second phase is discovery. Do you know the difference?

Inspiration as a designer

Inspiration are the things that inspire you. They don’t necessarily have to be design things. You can see inspiration as things that give you a great feeling and motivate you to do what you do. Inspiration is something you get from doing things that are fun.

You know that feeling when you have to design something and the deadline is getting closer, but somehow nothing jumps in your mind? I suggest, go out and do something that inspires you. For example things that inspire me are reading books, playing video games, do sports, checking out awesome street/industry photography, watching videos of awesome vloggers and of course music! Don’t forget to go to a concert of your favorite band/dj or going on holiday with your friends.

So the next time somebody asks you, what inspires you? You’re going to tell them things that make you happy. How do you translate this to making awesome designs? It’s different for each and anyone. One thing for sure – if you’re happy your designs are better. Now lets go on to the discovery phase.

What is the discovery

Discovery on the other hand is what you might have thought of inspiration phase. When you’re going online and watch what others do for example on Behance or Dribbble, that’s discovering. You’re watching closely to what the best designers around you do and you’re taking advantage of it. In this discovery phase there are two levels of discovery. The first is macro and the second is micro. Let me explain them to you.

Macro

On macro level you watch at the structure of how other designers builded/designed something. For example, how did they build a website or logo? What grid did they use, but more important why did they do it. And if you don’t know why and you’re curious about it — why not try to find out who designed it and get in touch?

Micro

On the other side we’ve got micro level discovery. Macro level discovery focusses on the bigger picture while micro focusses on the details. For example, when you’re checking a awesome website you ask yourself: Why did the designer put that call-to-action there or how did the designer construct a button. It are those little things that matter. Try to figure out how you might be able to use it.

So this is something that was on my mind for awhile. Let me know how you feel about it — do you agree or disagree? What is your ideal process for creating a design? Let me know if you think this is sh*t or if you want me to write more about it.

Thanks

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Don’t forget to follow me on Medium to stay up to date with my blogs. I’m also working on creating my YouTube channel, feel free to subscribe! If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email (hallo@sandervolbeda.com). I’m happy to answer them.

Have a nice day!