The myth of templates

Notion template gallery

The horrifying blank canvas

We all have stared long enough on the blank screens with no idea how to start the project. It feels like there is too much to do for setting up the stage. Templates solve this problem by providing pre-defined structures. They come as a useful handy tool for increasing efficiency and reducing the prep time for a project.

Different resume templates (1 & 2)

Templates, templates everywhere

Not a template to use

  • The person who created the template
  • The time when it was created
  • Its objective

Who created the template?

Did the person who developed the template have enough knowledge to understand what an ideal portfolio website should look like? Was that portfolio website meant to be used by a product designer or a graphic designer? Did they build the template to support case studies? Or did they make it just for images?

How old is the template?

Is the template obsolete? Is it suitable for current design standards? How advanced was the industry, technically, when the template was created? Is the template capable of doing everything we need? Or can we add more capabilities to it?

Why was the template created?

Lastly, what was the objective of the template? And does our objective align with that of the creator? Maybe it was created to showcase some of the work, whereas we might want to use it as a blog website to publish new articles.

Finding our perfect template

With the problems associated with using someone else’s template, it feels compelling to figure out what a perfect template would look like. Here are some of the methods which I use, to ensure that I make proper use of templates-

Not all boxes need to be ticked

Since a template is customized according to one’s needs, the requirements may vary from person to person. The same template that worked for somebody might not work for us. We need to modify it according to our context.

Mix and Match

Mojo Jojo asking about the recipe to recreate Powerpuff Girls

We might not need a template

As ironic as it may sound, the perfect template could be “no template.”

Summing up

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”- Aristotle

Critical thinking is essential to any project. Let’s not use templates as an escape board to short circuit our way out of critical thinking. Instead, let’s use them as a tool to navigate through unfamiliar methods and concepts and learn on the way.



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Nikhil Yadav ✌😎.ml

Nikhil Yadav ✌😎.ml


Product Designer at Gojek | Trying to read between the lines | Wish to document ’em all