Follow the blue dog

Innovation and error prevention are difficult but in most cases the limit is your imagination (just as Taiichi Ohno said in multiple occasions). Money is seldom a problem. This is a counter-intuitive idea but, in fact, when a project is too well funded (yes, it can happen) solutions tend to be way too complicated because “time to develop a good design” is often substituted by cash.

This is a wonderful example of what is called the “attribute dependency principle” which is a great and economic resource for error prevention. It consists in taking 2 attributes or variables which are originally independent and linking them in a significant way. In this case, the color of the dog indicates the beer temperature (blue means cold and white means warm). So simple, so good. According to the experts, 35% of design / error prevention solutions belong to this category. For more information about design and error prevention I recommend reading the book “Inside the box” by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg.

Error prevention is an art that needs patience, technical knowledge and imagination. When a great solution is put in place, wonderful things happen, like making sure that beer is served really cold!

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