Iterate rapidly. Explore broadly. Gather feedback from multiple sources. Don't conflate ego with object. These pearls of wisdom state principles and values with which few designers disagree. Behind these mantras lie decades of human science research that can enrich our understanding of design. For the past few years, my Stanford colleagues and I have studied how and when design practices affect results. Our experiments begin to clarify why these designerly rules of thumb matter and where breakdowns can occur. By examining the cognition of comparison and the social psychology of sunk-cost reasoning, practitioners and educators can more fully realize…
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