As a designer, I love to explore user edge cases and figure out what appear to be rules.

What did Eric Holmes mean by:

As a designer, I love to explore user edge cases and figure out what appear to be rules.


This quote revolves around the concept of design thinking and user experience, two critical aspects in the realm of product development. In essence, it captures the author’s enthusiasm for delving into the unique scenarios that users might encounter when interacting with a product or system (user edge cases), and investigating the seemingly established norms (what appear to be rules).

User edge cases refer to the unusual, unexpected, or extreme situations that users might find themselves in when using a product or system. These are not the typical, everyday scenarios but rather the outliers. By exploring these edge cases, a designer can ensure that a product is versatile, inclusive, and can cater to a wide range of user needs and situations.

The reference to ‘what appear to be rules’ suggests the author’s curiosity in challenging and questioning the status quo. In design, rules can often be guidelines or conventions that designers follow. However, these ‘rules’ may not always lead to the best user experience or may not apply in every situation. Therefore, figuring out these rules means understanding them deeply and knowing when to break them to innovate and improve the user experience.

In today’s world, this idea can be applied beyond product design. In personal development, for instance, exploring ‘edge cases’ could mean pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones and trying out new experiences or approaches. It could also mean considering the needs and perspectives of others who may have different experiences or backgrounds.

‘Figuring out what appear to be rules’ in personal development could mean questioning our own beliefs, values, and habits. It’s about understanding why we do what we do, challenging our preconceived notions, and being open to change and growth. This mindset encourages continuous learning, adaptability, and resilience, qualities that are increasingly important in our rapidly changing world.

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