Principles of Design #36 – Performance Load

Dec 04 2011 Published by Neil Gains under design

The path of least resistance

In life, it’s inevitably true that the greater the effort to accomplish anything, the less likely it is that it will be accomplished, a truth known by designers as the law of performance load (and also called the ‘path of least resistance’ and the ‘principle of least effort’). For any design, the amount of physical and.or mental effort required to achieve a goal is the performance load, and as it increases, performance time and errors increase and hence the probability of successfully completing a task decreases. Conversely, as the performance load decreases, the task becomes easier and the likelihood of completion increases (and time and errors decrease). There are two types of load which contribute to performance load, related to the mental effort (called cognitive load) and the physical effort (called kinematic load). Read more »

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Does Creativity Pay?

Aug 11 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”  - Tony Hsieh

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Cracking creativity

Aug 03 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”  - Edward de Bono

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”  - John Cleese

Is there a secret?

The secret to creativity is not to overcomplicate the creative process.  At heart, most of us know what’s really required.  There is no magic solution or silver bullet.  No one can guarantee a ground-breaking idea either, and the secret to success is to keep doing it!

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Failure is good

Jun 15 2010 Published by admin under innovation

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”  - Thomas Edison

Football fans will enjoy an article by Gregg Fraley, which I saw yesterday after writing on the same theme.  He writes about the importance of expecting and accepting failure and of persistence in achieving your innovation goals (remember Nikola Tesla’s description of Thomas Edison).  I like the description of experimentation as planned failure and learning, and of thinking beyond getting things perfect every time. Psychologists and others have shown that we learn more from mistakes than from failure – we all know that failure is more likely to change our future behaviour than success!

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