Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff

Rory Sutherland

Getting the small details right is what makes great design work, and what makes things memorable.

People in power like to make big efforts, but the relationship between money spent/effort and outcome/impact is not linear.

Examples: Hotel in Stockholm whose elevator buttons are “garage”, then “house”, “jazz”, “classic”– i.e. they let you pick the elevator music. Memorable, low cost. Counterexample: elevator in Heathrow which connects two floors but has no buttons– people panic.

Example: Virgin Airlines first class salt/pepper shakers which have “stolen from VA 1st class” embossed in their bottom.

An issue is people with power and a big budget feel they need to use the budget, and are thus drawn to expensive projects. Wants to create a new office which has great power and a small budget.

Cross-link to article in the October Wired; using city maps made by blind people to improve urban settings. Maps from blind people highlight the walkability of a city.
Claudia Folska


Posted on October 13, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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