Friday, December 4, 2015


I like this solution. It is simple and easy to understand. It also calls on the "user" to think in a way that says "If you screw this up it is all on you. We can't make it any easier."

As an engineer, I know that it is easy to over-engineer a problem. I've got all this training and years of experience and I just have to use it. But the truth is, many solution can be much easier.

I read the story of a high-rise condominium that was getting complaints from the owners about how slow the elevators were. People hated waiting so long to get where they needed to go.

The solution could have been very costly and time consuming: upgrade the elevator system with bigger, faster motors; add a more intelligent control system to position the elevators so they would be more quickly available.

However, the consultant hired to fix the problem had mirrors installed in all the elevator lobbies and the complaints went away. Because now people had something to do while waiting for the elevator and the wait didn't seem so long.

Of course, every problem has a simple, easy to understand wrong answer. The trick is finding the simple right answer.

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