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The corridor in the UX and design

This is why I say that innovation is overrated in product strategy and in the design.

In test match cricket, when a fast bowler challenges the batsmen for their judgment of the off-stump, the target is to bowl in the corridor of uncertainty. This is generally on the fifth stump line and if bowled at the right length, the ball creates a doubt in the batsmen’s mind whether they should play or leave the ball. The batsmen are more likely to make a mistake and get out. Among the modern great fast bowlers, Glenn McGrath, Richard Hadlee, and Dale Steyn were the masters of this art.

Yesterday, I saw a tweet where a hotel has designed a corridor floor in such a way that the guests or visitors do not rush through the corridors. The hotel has used 3D carpets to prevent guests from running in the passage to make sure that the passersby are watchful while walking in the corridor.

Vinish Garg tweets about the issues in an innovative hotel corridor design.

I wondered how the guests will respond if there is an emergency and they need to run for something? For example, if a fire breaks out in a room or if there is a medical emergency?

Matt Puttick—a cricket writer rightly called such a corridor as the corridor of uncertainty.
A corridor of uncertainty in a hotel corridor design, as noticed in a tweet.

This is exactly the way many product teams design products or plan important interactions to enhance the UX. The intention could be just right—to make something easy for the users, but the groundwork is not comprehensive and is one-dimensional.

While making something easier for the users or for one segment in the product audience, they end up adding some complexity or friction or doubts somewhere else or for someone else in their product experience.

This is why I say that innovation is overrated in product strategy and in the design.

Vinish Garg tweets that innovation is overrated in product strategy and design.

I am often invited to many such hotels and I see such corridors frequently, here are a few examples—gender in the sign up form, form filling experience, the threat and the risk, the fragile foundations of an ecosystem, the validations, or the currency data use case as below.

A poor design example, as shared by Vinish Garg.

The product content strategy can help the product and design strategy to plan for such use cases. As a practice, the product content strategists and content designers validate the assumptions of product teams.

When your team works on a product, watch out what acts as the corridors of uncertainly for the users. This is not a cricket match where they will get another chance—and they may not give you another chance.

Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

I am Vinish Garg, and I work with growing product teams for their product strategy, product vision, product positioning, product onboarding and UX, and product growth. I work on products for UX and design leadership roles, product content strategy and content design, and for the brand narrative strategy. I offer training via my advanced courses for content strategists, content designers, UX Writers, content-driven UX designers, and for content and design practitioners who want to explore product and system thinking.

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Vinish Garg is an independent consultant in product content strategy, content design leadership, and product management for growing product teams.