Thursday, December 29, 2011

Less, But Better

I recently noticed that my bathroom floor tiles were getting increasingly dirty day by day. I was not surprised as I clean it only once a month or so, but I quickly realized that its not enough. As usual I started thinking about a possible solution to this like a typical design problem.

I first identified the reasons that stopped me in doing a better job at cleaning
  1. Cleaning the entire bathroom took some time. As I usually enter the bathroom at the last minute I skip the cleaning to another day
  2. I had to dedicate some good amount of prime time for bathroom cleaning on weekends; which I didnt want to do.
  3. I was getting lazy coz of the effort taken for bathroom cleaning. I started procrastinating
  4. As I was forced to do it I was not doing a good job of it
  5. As I was cleaning only once in a month or so and that too a bad job of it, most of the times the bathroom remained dirty. This brought down my spirits

The main issues that bubbled up from the above points were Time, Effort and Quality and that's what I had to crack; and i came up with this solution.

Clean daily but just one part of the bathroom, and do it well

This takes less time and effort and as a result I can do a good job of it. By the time I finish all the parts the first part would have become a bit dirty, so I start again. After the bathroom is considerably clean, then do it on a need basis, ie clean wherever gets dirty. Its also encouraging for me to see the cleanliness so that i'm more enthusiastic to maintain it.

I think I'm on the right track. My bathroom is a whole lot cleaner now.

Product Lessons Learnt

Don't attempt to design and build a product in its entirety on day one. Have the bigger picture in your mind but take the most important/basic feature and build it with the right depth, quality and polish. Add the just enough ancillary features to make the basic stuff look complete. This will also help to channelize the energy of your resources. Once the first set of features are done well, take the next. Once every feature is done with the desired quality, revisit the first feature and continue the cycle. This will make the product live and remain clean.

Less, But Better was the design philosophy of the legendary Dieter Rams
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