Help your customers help you!

I’ve found this sign recently at a hardware shop in Madrid. It was in a self-service area were customers could manually pick up different types of screws, pins, nuts and similar stuff. It explains what is the recommended use of 2 different types of hinges, shows how to decide if you need them right or left oriented, and supports the written information with pictures.

 

Maybe it’s not technically perfect (is there anything perfect, anyway?), but there are 2 things that I found outstanding from the communication point of view. First, it is simple. Simplicity is key, especially when you expect the user to read it alone. It’s incredible how many signs try to cover all the bases and as a result the signs are difficult to understand and create great confusion. Second, it tries to push decisions as close as possible to the final user. It puts the information at the point where it is most useful. And this is very cool. This strategy reduces the probability of error and increases speed of decision at the same time. Yes, it’s time to forget those old-fashioned stories that say that quality and speed are opposites.

 

Maybe the quality and speed of decision have increased at this shop with this type of signs, maybe not. But just the fact of trying is really great.

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