Solution1 - 6:52 am on Mar 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
I have seen and worked with several approaches to creative processes in my life. The processes I was taught at art academy were very different from what I learned at IT courses and schools. During the period when I developed electronic stuff as a hobby (radio's, transmitters, musical intruments) I worked differently again.
I've come to not believe in extensive planning, such as Mack describes. I believe in a creative process of organic growth, making things up as you go, experimentation and testing. Above all: examine what you have in the moment, build or write what is needed, and examine again.
Planning only works with routine things. When you develop a site that has some pretty obvious goals, that don't require inventivity, you can plan. Something like a straightforward webshop, for instance, or a brochure type site. It can also help avoid conflicts with clients, by making things predictable. But I don't see how developing really inventive stuff can be planned.
You're planning while you're in a stage where you can't see what you're doing. You're driving blind. You may believe that something you have thought up is user friendly, while in actuallity people don't understand that user interface at all. And you may notice the problem while you're building that UI, because that is when you actually see it.
You may think beforehand of a structure of texts, with separate pages, headings and subheadings, and such. But, then you may find that you don't really feel like filling in that structure, and you can't muster the effort to finish your work. That's because that planned structure doesn't really reflect what is in you, waiting to come out.
What I do, is I just start writing what I want to say, and put that in a structure while I'm writing. Pieces of text get moved around and get rewritten. I constantly look what I've made. And eventually, I have a very clear and readable text, with a sort of obvious structure, while only having had a vague idea at the start, never planning anything.