Does Ubiquity of the Web Cause Group Think?
I was on a trans-continental flight last week, writing our next blog post and I wanted to look up some references. But I was too cheap to pay the $12.99 for in-flight Internet access, so instead I had to use my own thoughts to improve my concept, rather than search the Web or read other peoples blogs.
This made me realize that with the ubiquity of information on the Web, we are becoming more dependent on other people’s thoughts and relying less on our original thoughts and creativity to come up with our own ideas.
So then I wondered. Is the Web going to decrease the amount of innovation and original thought, since you can get so much existing opinions and information before you even have time to think of your own thoughts?
Could be. Often times when we work with clients to come up with new products and features, we look at competitors on the Web. “Why don’t we just do what xyz.com is doing?” we’ll ask ourselves. Or, “This product is just like 123.com but with xyz layered on top of it.”
Instead, we should use original thinking.
Our team here at Native Instinct has been designing interactive products for over 15 years – we know a thing or two about user behavior and what makes a successful product versus an unsuccessful one. But what we do is take best practice principals and apply them to new markets, scenarios and products. And we let our high-level principles guide us to design an experience that’s best for the user, not design an experience that’s already been designed before.
So how do you know when to use competitive research to help you design your product and when to ignore it? That’s what makes user experience design and product development and art and not a science.
Sometimes its good to disconnect.