An Idea in 10K

On using compelling constraints to jumpstart creative projects

September 28, 2016

Over the past month, I’ve submitted not one but two entries to the A 10k Apart contest. Sure, I’d love to win, but honestly it was just a great way to jumpstart a couple personal projects that had been sitting in the back of my mind for awhile. The deadline, the constraints, and the competition gave me additional triggers to drive me toward getting a first version of both projects out. (I could happily create at least a couple other projects and still hope to, but alas not before the deadline.)

This marks the first time I’ve ever intentionally participated in a competition. (I made a couple websites in college that won awards, but they were submitted by others.) I’m not typically a competitive person - playing Mario Kart with friends in high school made me anxious, even though I handily beat them nearly every time (it was my copy of the game and I was the BEST at power sliding). But competition can be a major impetus for creating something, especially for making it better and faster.

I plan to post separate entries about each of my projects soon, but I wanted to take a few moments to say thanks to the folks at An Event Apart, Microsoft, and the judges. (In particular, I want to thank Heydon Pickering for this post, from which I used several techniques on one or both projects.) It was a pleasure creating something and being challenged by such an interesting constraint, and I look forward to seeing all of the awesome projects others created.

My entries

The UX Tool Belt
The UX Tool Belt

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