The Creative Process in 5 Phases


The creative process in an ever-changing evolution of these five phases: Idea Phase, Communication Phase, Review Phase, Feedback Phase and Action Phase. Time, sources, contributions and motivation are key factors in the creative process. Below is a brief description of each phase.

Idea Phase

During the initial phase, ideas are expressed discussed, and noted. Writing down all ideas, good and bad, is a great way to start the creative process. In this phase, all ideas should be considered. Some great brainstorming techniques include creating idea flow charts to see your thought process, writing on white boards and thumbnail sketches. Once you feel you have all your ideas down, you will need to narrow down those ideas into a concept.

Communication Phase

Once you have a concept in mind, now comes the communication phase, a time to explain your concept to a team and open the dialog to everyone. Sometimes when working with clients, you will create a formal presentation to submit your concept or mockup.

Review Phase

The review phase is a time for clients to see and reflect on the concept presented. During this phase, questions may be asked to see if the concept fits the criteria, audience, solves the problem and/or fits in your company brand or culture. This phase will usually lead clients back to the idea phase to improve the concept or mockup. The review phase is very important to make sure the concept or mockup is in line with the original criteria.

Feedback Phase

During the Feedback Phase is when you will hear the comments from the Review Phase. The feedback received will help improve the concept or mockup. After the feedback phase, the concept will go back to the review phase until there is no more feedback and you have a finish product.

Action Phase

The last phase is the action phase, to take your concept into a finalized product. This could be developing a product, presenting a final idea or creating a new process or procedure. The sky is the limit!

The creative process may follow this flow; however, the order and length of time of these phases are depended on the project. No matter what you are working on, enjoy the creative process and welcome feedback. The creative process is meant to be a fun, collaborative process!

Author: Sandi Beach, Creative Division Manager at Courtland Consulting