Breaking Habits in the New Year? Innovate Instead
Posted by Plish on December 28, 2011
I entered the VA hospital, tired after a two and a half hour drive. I turned the corner and went to press the “UP” button. I pressed and the button didn’t light up. I pressed again, but didn’t really look closely at what I was pressing. It still didn’t light up. I went to press a third time but stopped short of pressing, and looked. The button was different and had writing on it.
I couldn’t read the writing until I crouched down. I read and sighed with relief that I hadn’t called an entire “Crash Team”.
We all are creatures of habit.
Personally, I expect two buttons when I approach an elevator: One for ‘UP’, and one for ‘DOWN’. When I’m on a lower floor, and tired, and anxious (all to be expected when people are visiting hospitals) I don’t want to have to read, or pay attention to colors. I expect the lower button to take me ‘DOWN’, and the upper button to take me ‘UP’, not call an emergency medical team.
Habits are hard to break.
Innovation plays to habits – the best innovations are intuitive. Ask yourself what people typically do (or better yet, watch them!) and design with that in mind.
Swiping to turn an e-page is much more elegant than pushing a button, or pinching the screen.
An “Emergency Call’ button shouldn’t be placed where it can accidentally be pressed, or worse: not be pressed because someone isn’t expecting to find it in the place of an ‘UP’ button.
Innovations deal with people, and people are creatures of habit…
…and habits are hard to break.