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What Web Designers Can Learn From Doing Jigsaws

My wife was given a jigsaw puzzle by a neighbour. She didn’t want to do it but was too polite to say no – so I did it.

My Mum and Dad have always done jigsaws but it is something that I have never really gotten into. After completing this puzzle, I decided that I would keep doing them but before I started I decided to come up with some parameters.

Rules of Engagement

Before I started on my “challenge”, I decided to come up with a few simple parameters to work within;

  • The jigsaw puzzle image was not important. I was not concerned with what was on the puzzle, just the process of completing it. If anything, I wanted to do puzzles where I didn’t like the image – the cheesier the better.
  • Size is important. I didn’t want to get stuck doing one puzzle for days so I decided that I would stick with one size – 500 pieces. This size is practical in terms of both physical size and time to complete. I knew I should be able to complete a 500 piece jigsaw in a couple of hours and it wouldn’t take over the house.
  • I would try and avoid spending any money on acquiring the puzzles. As I would be doing each puzzle only once, I didn’t want to waste money on buying new puzzles. They would either be borrowed from friends and family or bought from local charity shops.
  • Pictures of the completed puzzles would be posted on Twitter in a thread. Just a photograph of the puzzle along with its title and manufacturer.

The Puzzles

Below, in the order completed, are the puzzles.

Lessons Learnt

I have now completed 14 puzzles over a 5-week period, which means I have completed a puzzle every couple of days. I did break one of the rules as not all of the puzzles were 500 piece – there were two 1000 piece puzzles as well.

What did I learn?

  • Doing puzzles is a great way to switch off. It focuses the mind and helps you to break away from other distractions.
  • Before starting a puzzle, you analyse it and put together a plan. Looking for blocks of colour or for areas which will easily link together.
  • Very quickly, you start to learn to focus in on the detail – looking for that piece with a specific detail in it to fill the gap.

What Web Designers Can Learn From Doing Jigsaws

Completing jigsaws is a great way to improve your visual skills. You quickly learnt to focus in on detail and see the structure in any image.

I am still going with the jigsaw puzzles to the point my wife is calling me a jigsaw bore.