Very often before we can even solve a problem meaningfully, we throw away the opportunity to do something better, simply because we unintentionally seem to restrict ourselves to thinking that all our solutions have to involve a screen, a wireframe and a beautiful UI. After all, thats what we were hired to do, right?
I am a determined believer in that as designers, we’re here to solve problems in the most elegant way possible. Somehow however, our organic insights always seem to be produce similar mechanical results. We research and interview our users, map out pain-points but then return to our desks and spend the rest of our day drawing wireframes in Sketch.
We somehow assume, very often even before we’ve framed a problem, that the solution will involve creating prototypes in Invision or Principle, hunting for images on Unsplash and writing out specs to dev. BUT unique problems don’t always have these similar and generic answers.
Sure, one may argue that we spend a large part of our day with our mobile devices and that this is why we should create solutions for screens. But thankfully we still spend the largest part of our time engaged in the real world (hopefully), and surely there must be plenty of opportunities for solutions in this world as well. And if not here, than why not solutions that take advantage of both worlds?
In general, to design the most elegant solutions I believe we have to become better at practicing user-based thinking rather than screen-based thinking. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all solutions have to be screen-less but rather means not assuming that the solution will be screen-based. The best solutions solve problems in elegant ways, whether this involves using a screen or not.
Before we consider the user experience of screens and start sketching out wireframes I believe we can often step back and consider if the screens are even necessary at all, or if they are only necessary for a part of the solution. Although people use their mobiles and computers to solve many problems in todays world, it does not necessarily mean that people need to use a mobile or computer to solve yours.