3 rules for solving problems

Quick thought that should be incorporated into a bigger post someday. I came to “design” through an education in Architecture. Little unconventional, but there were several messages that were imprinted early on, and I still come back today.

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3 rules for solving problems.

Something that stuck in my mind like glue from my first year of study was our professor Jay Stoeckel’s mantra: when you get stuck on a problem, change one of the variables. By changing either media, scale, or concern, you can often solve the problem that’s stopped you.
Change Media – getting away from the computer for the sketchbook? or charcoal instead of pen. Shaking it up a little will often open the problem up.

Change Scale – Get perspective on the problem, zoom out. or zoom in: is there a small detail in the design that starts to solve other parts of the whole?

Change Concern –┬áthis is probably the one I use most often: what is the concern of the problem resented to you? what does it seek to solve? And when you change that intent, or question it, or find a new goal, how does that shift your thinking. In software, we often have multiple user personas; look at it to a different persona’s concern.