Oblique Product Design Strategies

Ideas for when you're stuck.

Here are some strategies I take when I need to look at a product design problem in another way, either functionally or aesthetically. In the style of Oblique Strategies by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, the idea is that by shifting your perspective you can solve problems better or get unstuck.

I update this list periodically when I think of new ones.

  • Ignore the edge cases, then build them back in
  • What if it was a feature of Windows 95?
  • Have you considered that the user doesn’t care nearly as much as you do?
  • How would Google do it?
  • Use icons instead of words
  • Use words instead of icons
  • 0 new CSS
  • How would Apple do it?
  • Delete all your web fonts