We are often led to believe that the more freedom we have the more creative we will be. Full creative license? Sweet. Unlimited budget? Awesome! No timetable? Even better.
I say embrace your constraints and draw out of them the very solution that sets you apart from the crowd.
The imposition of constraints can lead to great design decisions. Limitations often force you to view things from a perspective you are not accustomed to and, in turn, can stimulate the clarity and purpose of the design, rather than debilitate and hinder your creative process.
One of the most obvious and currently talked about examples is the iPhone (and as of yesterday, the iPad). There are incredible limitations with such a device. So many that people initially speculated it would be a massive failure. However, the team at Apple truly embodies this ethos. Despite physical constraints, technological constraints, time constraints and, of course, the “Steve” constraint, the team was able to unlock innovative solutions that allowed them to create something truly unique.
Are there problems with the iPhone? Yes. Of course there are. The point is if you want to create a truly compelling experience, don’t complain about your constraints; embrace them. And in doing so, set your creativity on fire!