We use tools to help us maintain high standards and provide uniformity, but we can’t allow our strengths to become our weakness as the world evolves around us. At User Insight, we help companies ensure common tools used to produce repeatable success aren’t causing poor user experiences and hindering innovation.
Think about one of the most basic tools companies use in order to maintain their image, a style guide. Style guides are great, but when they get entwined with the rules that govern your organization instead of simply being the guidelines they were meant to be, the wings on which you soar can quickly become an albatross, which causes you to fall.
Don’t be afraid to update your style guide. It should be a living and breathing document within your business. If you don’t see a proper search icon in your company’s iconography, don’t settle for something that only sort-of meets your needs. It is a slippery slope into a sea of stagnation.
There are simple ideals to remember which can help you avoid situations like this within your business. With all of your tools, remember the basics: form follows function. Don’t design around your existing assets. Focus your design on your goals for the product, and allow the assets to design themselves through that process. Remember the basics so you don’t get caught up in the rules of your company and hinder your company’s (or even your own) future success.