Smart design can change how an entire industry relates to its consumers

Insights from Doorsteps founder Michele Serro

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Last week, I got into in an elevator with a friend of mine. There were the usual rows of numbers and buttons, so I pressed "5" and stood ready to ascend. Nothing happened. I pressed the button again, this time a little harder. Still nothing. Finally, my friend reached over my shoulder and pushed the square to the right of the number "5." It lit up and the elevator started moving. Duh. "Dumb me," I said out loud. My friend shook his head and smiled, "I think it's more like 'dumb design,'" he said. And he was right. The elevator was designed so that it wasn't immediately clear which button to push. It took me out of my natural instinct and made me alter my behavior -- and that's the hallmark of dumb design. Dumb design isn't underconsidered, it's actually the opposite -- it's overthought and overcomplicated. Smart design, on the other hand, leads with instinct. It's more physical than intellectual, more reflex than thought process. Smart design isn't just what you want, but h...