Boundaries are interesting places. In the field of Ecology, natural boundaries are called ecotones – areas of transition between two locations. Literally, the word means, “a place where ecologies are in tension.” Our focus, as UX professionals, should be identifying, understanding and resolving areas of tension. I use the term “should” because we don’t always do it. Too often I’ve seen UX professionals focus so intently on the task they’ve been given, collecting requirements as if they were seashells washed up on the beach, that they ignore the purpose of UX Design: uncovering, coordinating and creating innovative and useful solutions that go beyond what users are able to describe or request. There are, I believe, two reasons why it’s difficult to see beyond the immediate problem and allow the spaces in between to drive our designs: 1. It’s an advanced skill that’s difficult to master 2. Clients are satisfied with much less Whether we are designing websites, mobile applications or complex business software, the true value of our work rests in our ability to understand the nuances that underlie areas of tension. My presentation will focus on what it means to look beyond the obvious, person-interface interactions and allow that understanding to drive innovative design.