Get uncomfortable with your tools
This seems so obvious but it’s one of those things, like healthy habits, that we forget to do in the rush of daily responsibility.
We spend a lot of time getting systems and tools together that work seamlessly for us. Now, get uncomfortable. Get splinters.
Spend a day, preferably more, dependent on a platform/product that’s not your daily go-to.
Hide your laptop and only use your phone. For everything. Like most of your audience.
If that phone’s an iPhone, get an Android device. Like most of the world.
Go on a trip with only one device.
Use only Internet Explorer for a few days (I know, I know, ow, I said uncomfortable).
“I can’t use IE, I only have a Mac and the simulators don’t work.” USE A PC FOR A WHILE. USE WINDOWS. Apple is fifth or sixth globally in desktop market share this month, depending on whom you listen to. (I am 1000% guilty as charged on this one.)
Do all your designs/approvals on a triple Thunderbolt display? (I’m guilty of this, too.) Don’t look at them in a big, glossy, pricey format for a few days.
What’s important is to do this not only in product testing (“does it work on IE?”) but in daily life, to understand the real experiences of your real consumers.