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Joe Leech, on how Innovation is a last resort:

I have a confession, I love constraints. They make the project interesting. They give the project boundaries, limits and above all rules.

The blue sky project I mention never amounted to much. The final design was the best it could be from a UX point of view, a full UCD process led to something special. What went wrong? We didn’t appreciate the constraints.

This isn’t something peculiar to user experience; it’s relevant to all types of work. If you’re working on real life projects (as opposed to a hypothetical one concocted in someone’s imagination for a white paper – yeah, you know you’ve read them), awareness of constraints is essential to delivering something that can realistically be implemented and will actually be used.