Using constraints as a decisive element in the ideation process

We, creatives, frequently complain about the restrictions we get for doing our projects. It could be about the budget, target groups, context, and other client's requirements. 

We commonly say that having a lot of freedom helps creatives do a better job. But is that the case?


Constraints have provoked humanity to innovate during history. "Necessity is the mother of invention", we say. And it's true. 

It all depends how you decide to look at these constraints. A right amount of challenging factors could be an excellent case for doing a fascinating project. 

Turning negative factors into positive

Reformulating our challenges can be a good option to open paths and feel excited to find a solution.

For example, you might have to do a project with a meagre budget. Instead of seeing it as a problem, you might ask your team "how could use a low budget in our favour?".

Just by asking that question, you are changing perspectives and triggering thoughts in your head. In this case, you may think about going for a DIY solution or crowdsourcing the idea.

The right amount of constraints

Of course, we are not saying all constraints are great. Some projects feel impossible to solve because you have to consider too many harmful elements.

In these cases, you might want to have a debriefing session with your client or just refocus the project trying to solve some of those factors.