5 Ways For A UI Designer To Come Up With Ideas

Michelle Mac
5 min readJun 28, 2021
5 Ways For A UI Designer To Come Up With Ideas

As a UI Designer, you are essentially paid for your ideas. They are your greatest source of value.

Because of this, your job is dependent on always creating more value. This type of tension can result in burnout if you don’t acknowledge that your creativity comes in waves.

It’s not always possible to come up with amazing ideas on the spot. But, if you realize this, you can leverage your creative moments of brilliance and store great ideas for when you need them.

To do this, let’s look at 5 ways you as a UI Designer can generate great ideas.

#1 Create An Inspiration Resource

Let’s start simple.

Create a repository for all your sources of inspiration.

A place where you can store examples of great navigation, a cool pop-up transition, an appealing color palette.

This could take any form but here are some examples:

  • A folder on your computer
  • A Figma file
  • A Pinterest board
  • A Notion database

By building a resource of inspiration, you have a go-to place when you feel like you have no ideas.

#2 Take Different Concepts And Remix Them

Here’s a book recommendation if you’re any kind of creator: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.

The most important thing I learned from reading this book is that nothing is truly original.

Every idea is a mashup of existing ideas.

With this in mind, an excellent way to create new ideas is to take different things and combine them to create something interesting.

In a practical sense, you could:

  • Take 2 or 3 components from your inspiration repository and mix them together.
  • Mix a color palette with an idea for an accordion.
  • Take an idea you have for a project and turn it into a logo.

Mix and match creative ideas to create something new and you’ll never run out of ideas.

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Michelle Mac

The *heavily edited* ramblings of a technical writer & frontend dev. I write about creativity, design, and productivity. Start here: https://heymichellemac.com/