Creative Block, Digging Out Of The Mud (a tip and an app)

I recently watched an interview with Sean Adams, he was riffing about where good ideas come from and some techniques for inspiration . He gave a great tip to help fight creative block when you’re hard pressed to come up with some good ideas for client work. His tip was:


“think of the absolute worst idea for the project, what concept is so terrible and so wrong for the brief?”


Often, by exploring that avenue, it will at least make you laugh and at the best, knock something loose. I think this concept works because it allows one to climb out of our walled-appropriate-design garden and look at the problem as a curious spectator.


Something else I tripped upon the other day was the Unstuck web app. It’s still in Beta so not quite a finished product, it has a really welcoming and accessible design I must say. I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.
It runs you through a gamut of questions:

  1. First you pick three “cards” out of a group citing your current feelings.
  2. Then it is a series of yes and no responses to scenarios and statements.
  3. Your answers are calculated and a “Stuck” profile is created for you.

In my case I am acting like an “Idle Achiever”. I found this to be an accurate profile for my current conundrum:

Idle Achiever
Unstuck produces a number of suggestions tailored to your resulting “Stuck Profile”. These suggestions are tactics shown historically to help people with that profile overcome their block. Here’s the overview for Idle Achiever:

Some of these tactics are common sense, some we may have tried successfully before; but we do need to be reminded every so often. It’s a reaffirmation and the “Stuck Profile” makes you feel as though the tactics to defeat the stickiness are custom tailored. I foresee, as this app continues to develop and collects more data, the responses will be even more helpful. I would also like to see a user feedback area where people suffering from a specific stuck profile could submit additional solutions that worked for them.

You can check out the Unstuck web app (free) :
Currently the only app available is for iPad:
Update April 6th , 2016….

Unstuck is now available for iPhone and Android devices!!


Photo courtesy Creative | Taking “Stuck in the Mud” to a new level| Mike Renland| Changes: Crop, Graphic overlay


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