Have you ever travelled somewhere new and become perplexed on how to operate something incredibly simple and mundane - like a light switch? Perhaps it was a coffee pot, a plug, or – like I recently experienced in a NYC hotel - a European shower control that I just could not figure out how to put into shower mode. Well we are not alone as there are items all around our world where the item’s design – functional, packaging or branding - cues us to do the opposite of what we are supposed to do, think or believe.   

Items like these that give off the wrong signals – such as doors that you tend to push when actually needing to pull - are affectionately called “Norman Doors” – named after psychologist, cognitive scientist and Apple technologist Don Norman – and the principals of how to not wind up designing “Norman Doors” as a new product opportunity is key to how the Mission Field team looks at our efforts in designing new brands and new opportunities for our clients.

What Mr. Norman laid out in his 1985 book form the root of the human centered design process. Today it’s commonly referred to as Design Thinking and includes the process of Observation, Idea Generation, Prototyping and Testing. Put into practice, the Mission Field team enjoys leveraging Design Thinking, but with an entrepreneurial twist. We take a raw idea, build out everything we know about it – positioning, benefits/RTBs, branded design, formula, price, packaging, placement, etc. – and then watch how consumers interact with the roughed-out approach. Whatever inspires consumers; we enhance. Whatever confuses consumers; we eliminate or alter. And Whatever leaves rooms for questions; we adapt to answer. Then we repeat the process 5 or 6 more times and work to find the optimal solution. If you have questions on how our unique blend of “entrepreneurial” Design Thinking can solve your current challenge, we’d love to hear more