Design For Comfort

“We need to design the system to be comfortable”

In a recent meeting, a participant said the system should be comfortable. This took me by surprise.

We live in a world where we are often talk about Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – just enough to satisfy customer needs. Or Minimum Desirable Product (MDP) – just enough for customer’s to want to engage.

So hearing about making customers comfortable. Now that took me by surprise. In a very pleasant way.

Rather than introduce yet another acronym, MCP for Minimum Comfortable Product, I want to ask, how comfort impact us in improvisation and collaboration.

Improv is not a comfortable task. At first. We build comfort over time. And sometimes, we have moments of resistance to what we are doing. From ourselves, our scene partners, or our audience. We work through it and learn through it. We support one another, we learn from bad shows, and we have fun.

It’s the same in product design and in using a product. Sometimes we need to work a little harder to communicate a business need to stakeholders. Sometimes we design for intentional friction to ensure a customers doesn’t accidentally delete their entire database

A sample from Mailchimp where you are prompted to type DELETE to confirm a non-reversible action.

So this got me thinking. How can we leverage improv to be more comfortable in collaboration? I think Rule 1 – Everything is True – is a great starting point. By accepting what is in front of us, we don’t deny the reality we are faced with but learn to accept it. By accepting, we grow comfortable and we can truly create. We can also look at how Rule 5 – Supporting our Fellow Players can improve our skills with the uncomfortable. Maybe I don’t know how business intelligence and Big Data works, but you do? Can you help me learn the things I am uncomfortable with and build our skills together?

So as we continue to create, build, and share – wether on the stage or in the boardroom. Seek the uncomfortable. Don’t push it away. Instead push and work through it. How can the uncomfortable inform the comfortable and how might that build better products?

Collaborative Improv is Now Available! Get your own copy now!

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