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Creative thinking, as you will learn today, is a prime tool for life and work problems. However, it is also a skill not equally developed by everyone.

Adobe’s global study on creativity confirms it. While 80% of respondents thought creativity is crucial for economic growth, only 1 in 4 felt they were fulfilling their creative potential.

How about you?

Regardless of how creative you feel, it is certainly a skill where progress is possible. To help you out on your journey we will discuss:

WHAT IS CREATIVE THINKING?

Creativity comes from the Latin term “creare” or “to create; to make”.

Creative thinking, therefore, is a process whereby you approach a problem from different angles and attempt to create a new and valuable solution.

The result can be tangible, such as a product or a novel, and intangible, such as an idea, theory, or a music composition.

As you can tell, creativity can be applied in many aspects of life and work. Once developed to a high level, it represents one of the most desired skills to possess.

WHY IS CREATIVE THINKING IMPORTANT?

According to Yuval Noah Harari, “Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks to the unique ability to create and spread fiction.”

Indeed, no other species is able to create stories, spread them around, and gather millions of followers like we are. Once applied within a certain profession, it ensures cooperation, efficiency, and getting the job done the right way.

Whether in Hollywood, war, religion, or business, creative thinking is thus not only important, but an indispensable tool for problem-solving.

Whether in Hollywood, war, religion, or business, creative thinking is thus not only important, but an indispensable tool for problem-solving.

However, besides work, you can definitely be creative about the way you live your life too. This includes:

  • organizing your free time,
  • building relationships,
  • developing hobbies and interests,
  • eating diversely,
  • being curious, etc.

HOW TO BOOST CREATIVITY?

For starters, you must acknowledge that it is not a skill reserved for artists.

You can and should be creative while saying hi to an acquaintance as well as when analyzing data for a new product design.

Here are some tips on igniting your creative thinking.

Read & play games regularly

While reading, you get lost in characters, theories, or descriptions. In the process, you form a certain opinion in your mind. When playing games, you usually need to solve a problem or win at something. Both demand of you to think, make decisions, and act. That’s why these are small but important elements of your creativity boost program.

Record your thoughts

At the end of each day, make a few notes on how you’ve spent your time. The form of your sentences is not as important as recalling it and thinking it through. This will challenge you to critically reflect on your experiences, ideas, and encounters. It’s just another way to apply analytical and creative thinking.

Draw your ideas

You don’t have to be a painter to do this. During a meeting or a webinar you can sketch things that come to mind in relation to what you are hearing. Eventually you will create a full narrative with visual representations. It will certainly boost your creative thinking and memory.

Exercise

Healthy body equals a healthy mind. Moreover, physical fitness is often a precondition for boosting your creativity. You can design your own exercises and meal programs. You will feel empowered and in control, making room for the best version of yourself at work.

Invest in diversity

If possible, expose yourself to people of different backgrounds, professions, and beliefs. Everyone is unique and has their own ideas and attitudes about the world. If you’re open to hearing them out, your horizons will expand. More importantly, you might learn how to do certain things differently.

CREATIVE THINKING TECHNIQUES

There is one key difference between the previously discussed creativity boosters and creative thinking techniques. Creativity boosters are to be applied continuously, while the bellow techniques are there to help you solve a specific problem. Let’s check some of them out.

Consider Alternatives

Next time you face a challenge and think you have the solution, stop.

If you take this route, can you predict the outcome?

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Have you considered alternative scenarios?

The point is not to jump to the first idea you think of. Instead, you should be able to imagine a set of different solutions and estimate the results. Only then you can choose the best option.

Different perspectives

Similarly to the “consider alternatives”, this technique also involves looking at a problem from different angles.

However, instead of just considering solutions, you should ask yourself specific questions depending on the point of view. This way you can discover advantages and disadvantages of different options that otherwise might go unnoticed.

Negative perspective: Which elements of the solution won’t work?

Wide perspective: What is the best overall solution?

Creative perspective: What are some alternative ideas?

Emotional perspective: What do your feelings tell you?

Objective perspective: What are the facts?

Bright side perspective: Which elements of the solution will work?

The circle challenge

If you’re not sure if the solution you have chosen works, but you are sure that others won’t, try the circle challenge.

This includes drawing ten circles and setting a stopwatch for thirty or more seconds.

You need to draw a unique picture within each of the circles before the timer ends.

This exercise will force you to think differently about the same idea.

If you repeat it enough times, you’ll either see your initial idea grow stronger or transformed into something entirely else.

CREATIVITY IN PRODUCT DESIGN

Finally, we will discuss creative thinking within a specific field of work – product design.

Creativity comes in handy practically in all lines of work, but in this one particularly.

As technology advanced over time, the potential for new ideas and products has grown simultaneously. On the other hand, the lifespan of new products significantly decreased.

Therefore, the survival of product or solution-oriented businesses more than ever depends on creativity.

What is product design?

Product design could just as easily stand for problem-solving.

Basically, a product designer’s job is to make peace between user needs and business goals. The ultimate objective – to deliver a successful, necessary, and lucrative product or a solution.

It basically refers to all stages involved in problem-solving from an idea to the market viable solution. In other words, the entire product’s journey is framed within a product design process.

It typically looks something like this:

  • Market research
  • Locating a user need
  • Brainstorming possible solutions
  • Conceptualization of the product
  • Building the product roadmap
  • Prototype development
  • Testing the prototype
  • Releasing the product
  • Further iteration based on feedback and business goals

HOW TO BOOST CREATIVE THINKING IN PRODUCT DESIGN?

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

If you want a chance at shaping how people interact and solve problems, start by checking out this product design course. It is thought by the talent behind digital products like LinkedIn Jobs and Skype. You can expect:

  • Getting trained in 11 project-workflow frameworks.
  • Applying the principles behind great tech products at every stage of design.
  • Developing your own product prototype from start to finish.