Daniel, your caveat here about difference that *compromises* usability is so great.
There are a lot of pieces in the product design puzzle — a lot of legitimate interests, including branding/market uniqueness.
To use an imperfect example, if I was a competitor to, say, Uber, I would need for my digital experience to be different enough from theirs to be distinguishable.
Of course, the best case would be with a better, more usable UI . . . But difference in appearance, at least in small things, might also be important. (Of course, that opens up the whole corporate interests vs. customer interests can of worms, but I’m not sure those two categories are always in every case in conflict with one another.)
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for getting me thinking.