Push beyond “best practices” to create meaningful experiences.
If you haven’t already, read the intro & summary which explain why I wrote these thoughts down in the first place.
In a field governed by Best Practices, one can surely imagine that a site designed only with best practices in mind would be an absolute dud. In fact the term on it’s own is anti-creative and limiting, as it presumes that there is a single correct solution.
We call them Best Practices because there’s a history of data that has made them so. Naturally the only way to break the rules is to understand them intimately, and ideally do something strange, new and surprising that still satisfies the core principle of the rule. This is where you turn something from being merely functional to something pleasurable, I think this leap is when an experience becomes inspired.
The visitor to your site has previously scrolled through miles of hapless interfaces, many governed by the cleverest of Best Practices. But they have not encountered many lovely moments or happy accidents. It’s our job to wake them up, out of their stupor, and bring them some joy.