No. #49

Functional Fixedness
- Limiting Objects to Traditional Uses

Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used. In product design, this can hinder innovation by restricting the exploration of new uses for existing products or features.

Read more on Wikipedia

Product example

Users may struggle to adopt a smartphone app with innovative functionality that diverges from traditional app categories, due to fixed perceptions of what an app should do.

Empathy tips


Encourage Creative Use

Promote creative and unconventional uses of your product in marketing and user education.


Diverse User Testing

Test products with diverse user groups to uncover unexpected uses.


Design Flexibility

Design products with flexibility in mind, allowing for multiple uses.


Educate on Potential

Educate users on the full potential and versatility of your product.

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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