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I was working on a mobile app design, at the beginning when designing app it looks awesome, but over time it became dull without changing anything significant (same colors, same fonts, same dimensions), but others designs look awesome. But after I came back from a long break it look awesome again(same design). Why is that?

I get the same feeling if I use a nicely designed app or website continuously, I think this may be also a reason why companies change their designs annually or so, so users do not get bored by the design and feels some novelty annually. Am I correct here?

My guess is our brain get adapted (create memories) to the design when working with the design continuously and novelty fades away. Then when we take a long break and come back, the previous memories of the design had faded away, so the same design looks awesome.

Is there any technical name for this phenomena in field of designing?

Is there any tips and tricks that you use to avoid feeling dull by your own design when working continously?

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  • Do you do any other kind of creative work? And if so, does this happen when doing that work, as well?
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 15:56
  • you mean a hobby like painting, playing a musical instrument and etc. I do not have a such hobby. I do not think I am a special case here, most of the designers, end users may have felt it too.
    – kaushalyap
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 0:44

3 Answers 3

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I'm not aware of any psychological or technical term for this, but "familiarity breeds contempt" and it's common for creatives to start second-guessing a design when a project is going on too long and there's pressure to deliver something great.

This might obliquely be related to impostor syndrome in junior-level designers -- it seems to lessen when you reach a certain level of experience and your designs center on achieving goals beyond "looking awesome".

To address your second point, companies change up their designs for a number of reasons, but usually more to do with improving business metrics than to just freshen things up. Redesigns are expensive and time-consuming.

If you feel like your visual design is too "dull", ask your stakeholders if they agree. I've seen a lot of atrocious design come out of trying to make something more visually "exciting" when the dull version was just fine to get the job done.

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This is something that can occur with any creative process, not just design. If you spend a lot of time working on something, it becomes overfamiliar. It's always necessary to step away from a project periodically to refresh your perspective.

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I think it happens with every designer. Once you create a design , it feels one thing but when we see other design, it feels something else.

I assume you are specifically talking about visual design.

Visuals are very subjective but there are some general principles which can be used to create good design. Check this link specifically for mobile app design https://www.givegoodux.com/14-mobile-ui-design-mistakes-you-must-avoid/

Whatever you design , your choice of fonts, colors, spacing, layout etc should not come by accident but by an informed choice. Only then you'll feel more confident with your designs.

Design is never done. Its always iterating. But you must decide when one iteration ends.

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  • Looking at the same thing over a long period of time does this. As long as you are designing the experience for what you need to solve don't sweat the small stuff. UX and product design is a marathon, not a sprint.
    – Destructo
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 14:46
  • thanks for the answer, I am aware of the info you mentioned like good design practices, design is a journey, informed choice. But your answer does not answer my questions. Please edit the answer to answer each question
    – kaushalyap
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 15:31

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