Microsoft highlights how creative inspiration can make for better apps

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Throughout the last few weeks, Microsoft has been covering design topics on their Building Apps for Windows Blog. This week, the company has posted something different and is bringing design thinking, inspiration, and creativity into the UI development process for UWP apps.

The post draws into the app development picture the fact that developers do design while design is something creatives are. Overall, the post also covers three basic questions that both creatives and designers ask:

  1. What are you looking for?
  2. Where are you going to look for it?
  3. How are you going to store it once you’ve found it?

Microsoft then goes on to further divide the answers to these questions into these categories:

  • Understanding what kind of inspiration you’re looking for
  • Where to go for inspiration
  • How to store inspiration
  • Feeding your inspiraton engine.
Searching for inspiration.
Searching for inspiration. (Photo from Microsoft)

Finding inspiration for apps, according to Microsoft, has much to do with deciding what type of inspiration to seek. The authors believe that knowing the kind of inspiration will narrow targets as you hunt down interesting sources for new, creative ideas.

Locations for inspiration, meanwhile include Pinterest, Tumblr, Creative Bloq, and more. Microsoft also notes that this step of seeking out information and inspiration is critical. To them, in the early phases of a project, tracking down the right inspiration can even be a full-time task.

When it comes to storing inspiration, Microsoft believes that it’s not an easy task. They point to digital options such the sites which were previously mentioned, as well as the old-school mood board. Mood boards, according to the Building Apps for Windows team, are effective because having an actual physical thing in front of you that you can touch, rather than something digital on a screen, affects the brain more powerfully.

Design thinking
Design thinking

Lastly, Microsoft also mentions that the purpose of seeking for inspiration, collecting inspiration, and storing inspiration is to feed the unconscious. The unconscious, according to Microsoft, is important because one day a brilliant idea might suddenly appear. Designers, claims Microsoft, understand this, and after collecting and digesting all of their inspirational material, designers know that their real task is to relax and let the mind do its job.