When it comes to new ideas, breaking the rules is a great way to come up with something you might not have thought of otherwise. However, breaking too many at once can leave people dumbfounded. Pick a rule to break and focus on how you can break it to improve the system.
WIRED Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich explains how breaking rules is a key element of evolving design. However, it works in many areas. If you’re writing, try switching narrative styles (you see many businesses trying this with less formal writing for consumer-facing text). Pick a small change and go with it:
…once a certain maturity has been reached, someone comes along who decides to take a different route. Instead of trying to create an ever more polished and perfect artifact, this rebel actively seeks out imperfection—sticking a pole in the middle of his painting, intentionally adding grungy feedback to a guitar solo, deliberately photographing unpleasant subjects. Eventually some of these creative breakthroughs end up becoming the foundation of a new set of aesthetic rules, and the cycle begins again.
Eventually, great ideas catch on, and having a surrounding environment of familiar ideas helps ease people into the changes you want to make. A brand new overhaul to how you do things is a shock to the system, but replacing elements over time, or experimenting with what works and what doesn’t can not only help you learn which ideas are good ones, but make the transition to the final, new product easier.
Photo by Rob Shenk.