What can a toilet teach us about gamification?

Another talk, another idea. Having just done a really fun talk for KMUK, a new analogy came to mind to illustrate using simple user experience to change behaviours.

One of the things we are trying to do to save the planet, is use less water. The way this is often done is offering the user two options. One is a long flush (for the harder to shift moments of life) and a short, water saving flush for everything else.

The obvious symbology for this is a big button for the big flush and a little button for a little flush. Simples!

However, which button is easier to push? Looking at the wear pattern (yeah I know, I need to get out more), the big button is easier to push. That may be because mechanically it offers less resistance, it may be because it is big inviting button. So the button you want them to press, is harder to press and less obvious to press than the button you want them to press.

If you want people to do something, make it easier to do! Make the big button perform the action you want performed most often. On the flip side, make unwanted behaviours harder to do, make people have to think harder about doing them.

Now, let’s get our minds out of the toilet.

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