Avoid Design Fixation

During prototyping, be wary of “design fixation”, a fancy way of describing that people tend to fall in love with an idea or prototype and start ignoring other possibilities. To avoid falling into this trap, I suggest three things. First, and most obvious, be aware that the behavioural pattern of design fixation exists, and that you and the people around you are not immune to it. Second, frequently test your prototypes with (potential) users/customers and take feedback seriously. This does not mean that you have to implement every thought and idea they throw at you. It is still you who interprets, aggregates, and extrapolates these data points and draws appropriate conclusions. However, be wary that you might be ignoring certain feedback due to being fixated on one of your preferred directions for your product. Third, following Dow et al. (2010), consider if it is feasible to build several prototypes in parallel – rather than sequentially – which can then be tested simultaneously in the market. This makes it easier to decide between certain directions based on the data you collected. For digital products, this strategy is often exemplified through the practice of A/B-testing.