I love trains, but stations often contain the worst examples of '𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗜𝗻 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗱'. Like this stairway to hell.
Not only are passengers being bombarded with a ridiculous number of messages — I count at least five '𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴' — but it's being done in a way that actually increases the biggest risk of all, falling while using the stairs. If I'm reading all the nonsense, I'm less able to pay attention!
That's before I get into the question of whether it's appropriate for transport authorities to lecture us on basic etiquette. What does '𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯' actually mean I should do differently? '𝘞𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘱' might seem like a clever pun, but it's also arguably patronising and not very helpful.
And the most relevant of all instructions — keep to the left, and the arrows — are crowded out.
𝗥𝘂𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲
It's the perfect example of where the ideas explored in my fellow 'experience hunter' John Sills' new book '𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲', intersect with the ideas explored in my new book '𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗥𝘂𝗹𝗲𝘀'. Because when rules apply to us, they become an experience.
𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘀𝗻'𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻
And if you're thinking this is unusually bad, sadly, it's very common. Not just at train stations but also in customer and compliance experiences.
As I explain in my book, if we really want to influence human behaviour, we need to think not about how we 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 people to behave but how they are 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘭𝘺 to behave.
The staircase from hell is obviously a bad idea. Yet someone designed and signed off on it. Read our books, so you can avoid being that person!
My thanks to Samuel West (@exitthelemming) on Twitter for sharing this & to Gerald Ashley for bringing it to my attention.