One of the most important things to remember when exploring problems or design spaces is that you shouldn’t fall in love with your first idea.
There’s a lot of good that comes out of fully exploring a design space in order to come up with solutions that quite different from each other in order to evaluate them. If we cluster our thinking in just one area or direction, we’ve lost the opportunity to see conflicting or vastly different viewpoints. There are some great design thinking exercises that encourage this type of thorough exploration.
An easy way I’ve found to remind myself not to get hung up on just one train of thought is to draw these simple shapes somewhere that I can see them as I work:
triangle | square | circle
Each of these shapes can be considered a very different viewpoint, angle, appearance, language, history, motion or solution. They are the best way I’ve found to remind myself not to fall into the trap of not fully exploring.
Maybe they’ll help you sometime, too.
I don’t need any more information or data in my life.
Bet you don’t either.
We do our best to filter, order and ignore – but face it, we’re drowning in too much information. And even worse, we’re becoming desensitized to things that used to jump out.
What we need is a bit of help understanding what’s important, what’s not – who needs attention and what can wait, and what’s a truly critical to understand. That’s what I’m referring to as insight. Something approaching the light bulb going off in your head when you get it. I want that.
Some day, you really will have all the right information at the right times – but I’ll be because we took the time to figure out what’s really most valuable to communicate to you in the most consumable and informative way.
We are working with this basic model when we discuss the topic of appropriate level of communication:
Each layer is valuable in its own way, so none can be discarded outright. But, we do need to find the right time and method to display the most relevant layer first while making the others easily available.