Am I a strategic thinker or a creative?

Recently scrolling through the myriad of blogs, articles and tutorials around web design, I came across a post about the different approaches one can take on in an effort to create and promote themselves as a web designer. Even at these the initial stages of my web design journey, I find the dichotomy of the need to be creative and the push for strategic and logical thinking within myself hard to reconcile to say the least.

In her article ‘Creativity vs. Strategy: What do people really want?’, Kendra Gaines (2011) addresses the need for both creative and strategic thinking to become a great web designer. On the one hand she describes the way that creativity is the essence of design and a sensitive beast that can be stifled by overthinking or too much analysis. Conversely she describes the benefits of being strategic and ensuring you prepare yourself logically for what is to come and what you need to undertake. To me, the ideal balance between these two worlds is illustrated in web design by the creation of wireframes on one hand, and storyboards on the other. The wireframes represent the strategy, you are logically and deliberately planning in the simplest way possible how to structure a website to optimize usability and return on investment for your client. The storyboard (the most fun for me) shows the aesthetic of the site, what colors will be used, how the menu will be dynamic, the imagery you’ve created to deliver optimal branding to your client.

As found by Gaines (2011), I too am a mix of strategic and creative thinking. But the real challenge is finding the RIGHT mix between the two, and ensuring that they nurture and enhance each other. Because you can be the most creative person in the world, but if you have no strategy around what to do with it, you won’t get very far.

Gaines, K. (2011) Creativity vs. Strategy: What do people really want?, http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/11/creativity-vs-strategy-what-do-people-really-want/ (Accessed 4 November 2011)

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About sarab2222

Driven by curiosity, creativity and my innate nerdiness, a little over a year ago I dipped my toe into the world of everything web design. With no experience, no formal training and no idea what I was doing I sweated, swore and furrowed over the creation of my first website built from scratch with no templates or guidance to light the way. It was the most frustrating and exhilarating experince watching it come together piece by piece, code by code. Since those innocent beginnings I've dived head first into a Bachelors of Internet Communication with a major in Web Design, I'm devouring tutorials, reading everything I can find to light my way and finding a community of the most creative nerds in the world. So this blog is my way of documenting my journey from wet behind the ears newbie to experienced professional, a place to consolidate and share what I'm learning, display my work and help others at the start of this journey find their way. View all posts by sarab2222

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