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Proceed with uncertainty

As UX designers, we use research to understand people. But no matter how much we learn, there will always be unknowns.

People can surprise us. What folks say they want may not match what engages them. Preferences differ based on who they are and where they live. And technology keeps changing what’s possible.

While research helps, the future is unwritten. Not everything can be predicted. Our best designs may still surprise us in new ways. If we rely only on past research, we risk missing new ideas.

That’s why it’s important to accept some uncertainty. We can’t freeze up just because we don’t have all the answers. To make progress, we need to try new things even if we don’t completely understand what will happen.

Our job is to make educated guesses while staying open-minded. We should question what we think we know and avoid boring “safe” solutions. Uncertainty pushes us to take smart risks, use judgment, and think the big picture.

Some of the most successful designs came from creators comfortable with gray areas. Like when Snapchat embraced vanishing messages before knowing if people would like it. Or when Netflix took a chance on original shows to drive more subscriptions.

The goal isn’t uncertainty but decisions that feel right even if we can’t prove it yet. As long as we keep learning together, we can explore unknowns confidently through flexibility and imagination.

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