Safe is boring
by Wayne Thursby
Forgiveness, not permission
It's often tempting to imagine a design that everyone will instantly love, and that will appeal just as strongly to everyone. When these designs meet reality they inevitably grate against the sometimes unreasonable, thoughtless expectations of the end users.
In these cases, then, it is often much better to simply ask forgiveness of those offended by otherwise good design, and move along. The end user's opinion is of course relevant, but they should not automatically override any particular design objectives.
Regardless of whether or not the words were ever uttered, Henry Ford's customers were undoubtedly interested in faster horses, and not cars.
Innovation frequently means incorporating giving the audience what they need rather than what they are asking for. It is the role of a visionary to bring technology and design to satisfy the need in a way that is at least tolerable to the end user.
They don't have to love it, they just have to use it.
All of creativity is taking the sum total of one's experience and applying it to new situations in new ways. While we can't help but reference prior art in our endeavors, we can certainly make sure it doesn't limit us in important ways.