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Stairway to Hell

I love trains, but stations often contain the worst examples of '๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—œ๐—ป ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ'. Like this stairway to hell.

Not only are passengers being bombarded with a ridiculous number of messages โ€” I count at least five '๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด' โ€” 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 '๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ' actually mean I should do differently? '๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ' might seem like a clever pun, but it's also arguably patronising and not very helpful.

And the most relevant of all instructions โ€” keep to the left, and the arrows โ€” are crowded out.

๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ

It's the perfect example of where the ideas explored in my fellow 'experience hunter' John Sills' new book '๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—›๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ', intersect with the ideas explored in my new book '๐—›๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€'. Because when rules apply to us, they become an experience.

So, as well as grabbing a copy of my book (, I'd also highly recommend reading Jon's (

๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ป'๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป

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 ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ people to behave but how they are ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ 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.

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