March 12, 2014


clock (490x255)
Spring forward. Fall back. We adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time (DST) without much thought.

We're tricking ourselves when 7 AM [PM] magically becomes 6 AM [PM] or is it 8 AM [PM]? We accept the change because we benefit. During the short winter days, we’d rather have light in the morning than the evening.  During the long summer days, we have enough light for the mornings and evenings.

Our clocks and smartphones might switch instantly to the “right” time but our bodies don’t. There may be more accidents after we “spring forward” because we lose an hour’s sleep. Or less because we’re driving with better lighting. There are also effects on productivity. 


Suppose you move your turn signal to a different location (say to 8 o’clock instead of 9 or 10). Customers will make mistakes especially if they drive different vehicles. The wiper settings mess me up. How do you spray the windshield? This is easy enough to figure out if your first guess is wrong. The harm is minimal. Imagine what would happen if the gas and brake pedals were not standardized.

If you follow norms how do you stand out from competitors? Android has a Back button but iOS hasn’t (except for the Safari web browser). Both systems are workable though you may prefer one. Apple stands out but companies making Android devices do not.

The Price

Changing your norm forces your current clients to undergo minor relearning (how do you heat the steering wheel now?). Your new clients skip this step, especially if you’re following conventions. Best to make the “right” decision at the outset.

How much as you asking your clients to change?

Windows 8 asked for too much. No START button!?! That was another reason to avoid Windows 8. Sales suffered. There were also reasons to avoid upgrading from Window 8 to 8.1.

The Speed

The ideal speed of change varies:
  • fast: e.g., to/from DST by an hour rather than 5 minutes a day for 12 days, a chiropractic adjustment, removing a bandage
  • slow: e.g., removing training wheels, shrinking snack packages without cutting the price, cheapening ingredients
What can you do to help your clients adjust? We don’t have a choice about adopting Daylight Saving Time but your clients may have a choice about switching from you.


PS Have you seen the 2013 posts on this blog?

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