When confronted by a difficult or challenging problem we are encouraged to Think outside the box.
This concept is based on finding non-conventional, creative or more radical solutions that would not normally be used.
In software testing “the box” is the application/ component/ feature being tested and the categories of testing are Black – hands on (WYSIWYG) testing and White – automated and code level testing of the internals.
However with most problems the solution may require a blended or holistic approach. So, I have defined for myself to ignore the box, start with the solution you would like to arrive at and work backwards without limiting yourself from the initial phase of your thinking about the mechanics of the solution.
(In some ways this may be viewed as being requirements driven.)
The truth is that if you start with your ideal or desired endpoint it doesn’t matter whether you think in or out of the box, just that you reach your intended “destination”.