Law of the Hammer

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Also known as the law of the instrument, Maslow’s hammer, or the golden hammer. Was created by Abraham Maslow in 1966. This is a cognitive bias that represents the effect of over-reliance on a familiar tool. The examples of the law of the hammer can be met at any point in the design process where the designers tend to try to solve a problem using the same tool or sets of tools over and over again. In a sense, it can be treated as an opposite side of consistency.

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cheat sheet

practical tips

  • Think outside the box and try seeking different perspectives any time you approach a new problem
  • Remove all possible limitations when you brainstorm a solution to a problem
  • Always question existing patterns and validate their value and efficiency
  • Try new techniques, methodologies

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