Design for extremes

When you think about innovation in design we look for designing for extremes.

*What does this mean?*

If you take a typical bell curve a lot of research is focussed on the middle. In designing for extreme you look at the edges of the bell curve.

For example, in our beautiful city of Adelaide, we have fantastic footpaths designed for people with disabilities. Easy to enter and exit.

But that just does not just work for them. It works for a range of people and contexts.

Parents with prams. Older people. Teenagers on skateboards. Kids learning to cycle.

Source: NESTA

So going to the extremes helps the middle. Counter intuitive but works a lot.

Say you are trying to improving the B2B experiences of your customers. Rather than looking at just big or small business. Look for edge cases.

  • Small business run with immigrants

  • Business in 3 states.

  • Fast growing business.

  • Business that have stayed the same for ever.

  • Women run business.

  • Kids run business.

If you are selling coffee,

  • Look for customers who buy everyday

  • Customers who buy once in a while

  • Customers who have a special order with triple shot coconut milk

You get the point. Next time you are embarking on the design journey - design for extreme.

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