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Why design is only one per cent inspiration

Great ideas are all very well, but there's a lot more to design than inspiration, as Stephen Gates reveals in this talk from Generate New York. Rather, he says, it's all about designing, prototyping and testing; basically, a lot of hard work. 

The head of design at Citi, Stephen here explains the process of design thinking: breaking the creative process down into a formal method of practical problem solving. He notes that more and more companies are embracing design thinking, but that this often feels more like madness than a method for designing, prototyping and testing. 

In his talk, Stephen shares the design and prototyping techniques he has learned from leading Citi's global design studios, as well as insights he has gained from working with senior design teams at Apple, Google and IDEO. If you want to up your creative game – and aren't afraid to put your back into it – this is essential viewing. 

Ida Aalen emphasises the importance of testing in her Generate London session

Ida Aalen emphasises the importance of testing in her Generate London session

 And if you want further practical advice on how to be a better designer, come to Generate London on 21-23 September and see Ida Aalen's talk on why you should never show a design you haven't tested. It isn't hard to find a UX designer to nag you about testing your designs with actual users, she points out, but we're not always that good at explaining why you should – and how you could do it in an affordable way. 

In this talk, Ida will share affordable, practical tips for testing your designs, with examples from actual projects she has worked on. And the bonus? It'll make it a lot smoother to discuss your design with stakeholders. 

To find out more about upcoming conferences, head straight for the Generate site

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Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.