Your first idea probably isn’t your best one. However, many of us suffer from “design fixation”, where we become married to our first idea because we had it first. Avoid this problem by forcing yourself to come up with multiple solutions.
Photo by Kenny Louie
As design blog Fast Co. Design explains, money, time, or ego might make someone stick to their first idea, even if something better comes along. While creativity is an iterative process, you can bypass the tunnel vision that comes from focusing on a single idea by generating multiple ideas at the start. It helps even more if you can bring other people into that process to help challenge your ideas or offer alternative input:
An isolated designer only has her own perspective to draw upon, while working in a team can bring in more outside experience. “We do peer reviews, technical peer reviews where you bring in somebody who’s not related to the project to challenge you as a project leader,” an interviewee explains. These outside observers can say, “‘Oh, why have you done it like that?’ Or: ‘Show me your rationale for how you’ve done it.’ They’re acting a bit like the client, really. . . . They capture anything or they could stop [the project] before it reaches the client.”
The sunk cost fallacy often makes us feel like working on several ideas that we’ll throw away is a waste of time. However, creative problem solving and design often requires approaching a problem from multiple angles before you know which one is correct. Not everyone has the luxury of taking time to come up with several ideas before getting started, but if you do, do yourself a favour and come up with a few alternatives before you barrel ahead.
What Is “Design Fixation,” And How Can You Stop It? [Fast Co. Design via 99u]