Reverse thinking

If you struggle to think of ideas to improve something, you can instead try to think of ideas that will make the problem worse. Once you have those, you can try to think of what the reverse of those ideas are. This process might lead you to ideas that will make the problem better.

It's often easier, and certainly a lot more fun, to think of how you could make a problem worse, so this is also a light-hearted way to find some new ideas if you're stressed about staring at a blank page.


Samantha wants to make some changes to the checkout flow for a mobile app. She's already got some ideas to A/B test, but to increase the chances of finding one that performs well, she'd like a few more.

She decides to use reverse thinking, and lists things that she thinks would make the conversion rate worse. A few minutes later, she looks down her list and two things jump out at her: "Make the next step hard to find", and "Show hidden costs to the user at the last minute".

Samantha takes these ideas and reverses them. She decides to go through the flow again to make sure that all of the user's next steps are very obvious, as well as make sure that the cost of the purchase is as clear as possible at the start of the process.

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