Alternative blindness

The bias project - The final solution

We’ve talked a lot about ‘alternative facts’ this year, but not enough about alternative options. That’s because we’re prone to alternative blindness. Alternative blindness means that:

“It is very difficult to think about other options if you already have a solution in your mind”

It comes naturally to us to think fast, but not to think differently. I had a teacher in art school that challenged us to do strange things, like ‘studying a corridor in the classroom’.

What can you do with a corridor? You can put your bag in there, or crouch in it when you’re lonely. But what can you do in a corridor when you’re happy? How do you talk to the wall? Can you use it as a musical instrument?

I couldn’t quite see what he was trying to teach us back then, but I do now. Since I became a cartoonist, I turn my worldview upside down on a daily basis. There’s no humor without surprise so I constantly have to look at at ordinary things in a new way.

The UX part

Of course, UX is not about surprise. It is about meeting expectations with a little bit of delight. To meet those expectations, you have to explore possibilities and that means that you have to throw ideas away.

A lot of people still think that this is a ‘waste’. It is not. The real waste is to put a lot of effort and money in an idea just because it was the first one.