My results were out and straight we drove to the toy shop to get that flying helicopter I had been studying for. I was in the 3rd grade and getting that toy was all that I had been waiting for, since two months. Brought the helicopter home annnd a sticker on it that said – “Charge battery before you use“. Whhaaat??? After the long wait, yet another 2 hours of wait?? Seems like eternity. Now this was something that almost all battery powered devices insisted back then.
Steve Jobs noticed that and made sure it didn’t happen with his products. He put a team to work and made sure that when somebody bought an iPhone, it was fully charged. Since then, all battery operated devices have had initial charge in them.
Why do humans find it difficult to spot problems?
HABITUATION. As humans we get “habituated” to certain ways things happen. And that’s how the human body and mind are designed. Because, had we always noticed every small detail all the time, we would be engaged with same set of thoughts and could never move ahead. Remember the first time you rode a bicycle? All the attention was on the handle, the wheel and the road ahead. And now? Loud music on the earphones, attractive hoardings on the road and that handsome guy passing by (just kidding) are all managed successfully!
Now that’s where designers and entrepreneurs have to be different. They cannot become habituated to problems people are facing. They need to NOTICE these and think beyond them – GET SOLUTIONS.
How do designers think beyond problems
1. Look broader
Getting too focused on the problem, often leads to ignoring some background criteria and conditions of the problem. Take a step backward and have a broader view of the problem. You might find many blocks before and after the problem. With experience and intelligence you could combine those or simply remove few of them. The best solution comes when you have a complete picture of the user’s problem.
2. Look deeper
Once the background conditions are taken care of, drill deeper into THE problem. Get every small detail of the problem. Question the existence of the problem. If users are facing a problem, is it because they are habituated to doing it in a particular way or is it because of some other reason. Because that’s when you could come up with the best solution.
3. Think younger
Kids are the most inquisitive souls on the planet. They often ask questions which we feel are pretty immature, because they do not know that “this is the way things happen.”
If you want to challenge the “this is the way things happen” syndrome, you need to think as a youngster and question problems as a kid does. That’s when the solution would just click!
Hope you enjoyed reading through the article. I will be more than happy to get your thoughts on the same topic. Leave a comment below or drop me a mail at monika[at]canvasflip.com