How a Designer become more creative looking for “Problems” !

Hello !

It’s Chou-Tac,

Today I got a Designer creative routine for you to implement daily.

So you’ll generate thousands of new ideas ! 

I am writing to you from the 24-hours Automatic laundrymat.
My clothes are turning in the machine like inside an infinite rollercoaster. It’s pretty hypnotic.

When I see the colourful clothes rolling, it reminds me when you mix your colour liquid paint in a pot with your brush.

Do you also have these kind of mental images when you see things ?

If you don’t, try ! It is fun. It will help you pop up ideas, and arouse your visual imagination. We call this doing analogies.

It’s like looking for shapes in the clouds.

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I am sitting patiently waiting on the bench. Nothing much to do.
I see on the wall there is free wi-fi, and I have my laptop with me. Bingo !

It is a good opportunity to use this waiting time to write to you sharing some design tips. This laundry mat actually gives me some ideas.


The topic of the day is:

How to to generate unlimited ideas for your design project by looking for “Daily Problems” !

I am here sitting on on a tiny and metalic bench. After sitting for few minutes, I can already feel my butt pain.

The laundry mat is called “Automatic”.

If you compared it any laundry service operated by a human. The experience is fully opposite.

Why in the automatic laundry mat I got to go there, put my clothes in the washing machine (if available) wait till it end to redo the same for the dryer.

While with a classic laundry service, you go there and come back at anytime to get back your clothes clean, dried, and folded.

The only part that is automatic is when you put yourself the coin, so you won’t have to face anyone. It is opened 24 hours.

The experience I have now is actually : Time-consumming and stressful.

Going to the laundry mat is a pain.
I never heard anyone say: “Hurray !! I am going to the laundry mat !!”.

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Make your problem an opportunity !

As a designer, you may try to smell here opportunities. Remember that in design, according to a japanese quote:

“A problem is a treasure.”
Remember to ask yourself: “WHAT if…” to generate new ideas !

In other words, any problem is a design opportunity to create or enhance a business.
So I am wondering how could we transform this pain experience into a moment people could feel excited for. 

What if people are feeling excited to go to Laundry mat ?

To me “boring time” are huge opportunities for a business owner to design new customer experience and generate extra income.

The experience may be “automatic”, it is time-conuismming and a stressful.
I got to make sure I come back on time so my clothes won’t be stolen. Also I don’t want to be unecessary occupying a machine while somebody else may need it.

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I wish we could have entertainement in the laundry mat itself.

Waht if we make it a place for meeting people? What if the laundry mat become :

  • A Laundry Bar ! A place to chill around a breakfast at morning or a cocktail on evening ? Where single people could meet up !
  • A Laundry cinema, a place to watch 90 minutes movies with pop corn while your clothes are washing and drying ?
  • A Laundry fashion shop here you can take your time to try new clothes.
  • A Laundry VR travel tour, a place you could travel with VR glass for example
  • … Possibilities are inifinite!!

IS IT WORTH IT ?

You may think: Ok but I’m not going to open any Laundry mat. This is what is interesting:

Get these ideas to transpose it into any other similar situation where people got to wait and feel bored looking for distraction : Subway, doctor waiting zone, Mc Donalds queuing at cashier, Luxury brands queuing outside of the shop. It may works as well.

A hint to identify these places ? Anywhere people tend to look at their phone “like a zombie” may be an opporunity.

Generate ideas daily even with no purpose. Your creativity is like a muscle. It needs practice to grow ! The day you will need ideas, they will pop in your mind like fireworks !!

YES! Provoke the EUREKA moment !!

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I hope this article has been inspiring to you and will help generate thousands of ideas in your creative designer daily routine !

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello ! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a product designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at [email protected]m : )

3 Comments

  • Nils

    Reply Reply August 2, 2018

    That’s a nice article, Chou-Tac! It is well-know that observing the surroundings make us better designers.

    I think that we should rather ask ourselves with the question “Why…?” instead of “What if…?”. The next question would be “How?”. The “What if…” should be the last one. In this way we are going to create better and more innovative ideas because we have understood the true problem! (Yes, the process is from Simon Sinek and it works)

  • Edward Eyth

    Reply Reply August 1, 2018

    Great insights Chou-Tac. There’s no down time for a creative mind, especially when you have a sketchbook in hand. Life is filled with opportunities to create and improve, yet so many pass by when we’re unaware.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 1, 2018

      Yes definitely ! We live in the same world.

      But our imagination sees in differently. 🙂

      A pen and a sketchbook helps us to share the pictures we see in our head to others !

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