Create Small

Tackling big design problems with little space

I find the hardest aspects of design are (1) getting started and (2) keeping it simple—both very important and actually related in my mind. To overcome these challenges and to jumpstart my design process, I simply create small.

What I mean by creating small is actually an odd procedure—instead of starting on a large whiteboard open for anything and everything, I try to get my ideas down in one single-page of my 3.5" by 5" notebook. I use and recommend the Scout Books DIY Dot Grid Notebook—awesome little product! This actually makes it very easy to start, and forces you to add only what is really necessary. One single drawn line in relation to this small canvas has a large impact. It also has a very powerful effect in what your mind will think next and somehow encourages you to keep solving. I also believe this process works hand-in-hand (or even acts as a precursor) to designing mobile-first, which I believe wholeheartedly in.

As a designer for Tackk, it's very easy to want to keep adding more robust functionality (or micro-features) because of how universal the tool is, but creating small keeps me focused on what matters.