Design for laziness

One of my mantras is ‘design for laziness’.

I first heard this term whilst listening to James Clear give a talk in London many moons ago where he referenced BJ Fogg, Stanford Professor and the creator of Tiny Habits.

It assumes that us humans mostly revert to the easiest option in any situation. Despite our best intentions, willpower alone is fruitless — we only have a limited supply.

So if you want to positively change your behaviour, or those of others, make things easy.

And likewise if you make things deliberately difficult, they’re less likely to happen. For instance :

✅ I wanted to be fitter and spend more time in nature, so I moved to the top of a hill near the sea and next to miles of countryside trails. I can’t fail.

⛔️ I wanted to use my phone less so I deleted all social media apps and changed the passwords so they are impossible to remember which puts in a barrier or ‘cognitive speed bump’. I’m too lazy to re-install them and jump through the hoops of my creation.

I can reel off countless more examples.

I also use this approach when designing experiences, whether online or offline. As Steve Krug famously said:

‘Don’t make me think’.

How about you – do you design for laziness?

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store