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Opening Your Mind

From (the now defunct) F*ck Jet Packs…

But part of great design is taking lateral leaps of logic, of challenging assumptions, letting the world change your mind, staying receptive to new experiences and ways of thinking, channeling the energy and ideas around you, knowing anything is possible, letting your intuition drive your thinking, not saying no, not shutting things down, re-evaluating your point of view, treating everyone as if they have something to teach you, staying mentally agile, sharp, light, nimble, and quick.

I’ll admit, I’m not always as good at this as I’d like to be. I’d like to think I’m pretty open-minded, but I sometimes struggle when design best practices conflict with feedback.

For example, I recently had a (non-designer) coworker ask me, “Aren’t you worried about how much scrolling people will have to do? You have a lot of content below the fold.”

My first reaction was, “Of course not. It’s 2012. People know how to scroll.” But if I set aside my arrogance for a minute, I’d realize she actually had an insightful perspective, just not articulated like a designer.

The problem wasn’t that content was below the fold. It was that the page as it was currently designed didn’t invite you to keep exploring, so that content could be lost to a visitor. Watching someone try to use the site for the first time verified that my coworker was right.

Best practices are great, but don’t be afraid to challenge your own ideas.