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Popular Product Bandwagon — Nr. 113
Issue 113: Seeing others as inspiration is okay, but you should consider your unique situation.
Sometimes, designers and PMs follow what other popular products are doing.
There was a time when we needed to decide on the navigation bar design. One designer proposed that we should use a sidebar with a hamburger icon. The reason? Because Google Maps did it. While that's still a valid point, there's something wrong with this line of thinking.
Firstly, we assume that the team behind Google Maps made the right decision. Secondly, it's a different context. Our team is trying to solve a unique problem for different audiences with different constraints.
This is a bandwagon fallacy. We follow popular trends or ideas because we assume they are the right thing to do.
Takeaway for you:
01 - Think in first principle. Don’t shortcut the important decision by looking at the popular stuff. Make your argument. See the situation and the problem. Then assess what to consider in your unique situation.
02 - Consider the options. List them down, and consider the pros and cons. Then you start developing your foundational arguments. This sounds basic, but many people make a mental shortcut for some important decisions.
03 - Use popular apps as inspiration, but then think independently. Remember that you might solve a completely different problem.
Behind the scene
It’s been a while since I got my hand dirty to design the pixels. I’m working on Today—usetoday.app. We want to help people get things done and stay productive from all distractions in this modern world.
One quote to ponder
“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” — George Orwell.
You know what's funny? I spend 80% of my work writing, planning, and thinking. Then once it’s clear, design and execution become easy. So I love this quote. What’s your favorite quote?
PS I already have 4 upcoming newsletters scheduled! I’m super excited to maintain the consistency. I’m going to be active on Twitter. Let’s see if I can keep it up.
PPS If you’re interested in strategic thinking, consider joining the Product Discovery workshop.
PPS Thank you for all the positive messages from the last issue. I read them all, and I’m trying my best to reply to your message. So… Please share your challenges or struggles. I might be able to write something about it. I’d love to chat with you. Or say hi :)