- Wed, April 11 2007
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
My life became more complicated than I would have liked this week, so a mentor/friend/colleague in my life gave me a book called The Laws of Simplicity. It’s about making products simpler to use, and it’s written by a world-renowed graphic designer who is a professor in MIT’s media lab. I like it.
The third law is, “Savings in time feel like simplicity.”
The average person spends at least an hour a day waiting in line…Reducing the time spent waiting translates into time we can spend on something else. In the end it’s about choosing how we spend the time we’re given in life. Shaving 10 minutes off of your commute home translates to ten more minutes with your loved ones. Thus a reduced wait is an invaluable reward not only with respect to business, but to life and your well-being. Saving time is really about reducing time.
Author John Maeda recommends offering fewer choices or making choice easy (think iPod Shuffle, Google’s “I feel lucky,” and Amazon.com’s recommended books for you), embodying or hiding time (think progress bars when something is loading on a computer or casinos, where you can’t tell what time it is), and making time pass in a more tolerable way (mirrors by elevators, free cookies in line, etc.).
I read this after writing my earlier post today on Whole Foods’ charitable check-out campaign. The Whole Foods campaign is clearly about time and simplicity, because it gives people a way to do good and feel good while they are waiting. No wonder I liked it.