Uncomplicated, but creative

As an Information Architect working on legacy data, I usually have to work incrementally.

Legacy Data: Def Someone else (hopefully smarter than you) designed some of the core functionality (many years ago) and I’m making improvements and fixes to address new user needs, update UI patterns and keep up with technology.

I need to balance the need for simple solutions and keeping myself creatively limber.

The best practice that I can recommend to any UXer is keeping a sketchbook. Sometimes you’ll come up with five interesting solutions and you know that the needed solution is fairly simple, and straightforward. Sketch out those other ideas. Iterate on them. I find that it lets me explore other avenue and I can put that back into the final design. Maybe there is a subsystem or alert that you’re not thinking about that you’ll figure out.

If you are not on a tight deadline, maybe you can present them at your first review as an alternative.