Going back to Design Thinking because of stairs

As we are putting the final touches on our product, I am thinking more about Design Thinking again. To be honest, I think about Design Thinking and why it is important every time I enter Kingston Hill Campus because as you walk to the Business School, you need to pass these stairs.

 

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As you can see these steps are unusually large, making it only possible to take one step at a time if you are jumping from stair to stair. As you can imagine there are very few students skipping to their lectures like this on a Monday morning.

So why did the architect design the stairs this way?

Was it a decision of aesthetics? Because if it was, according to Design Thinking this would have been the wrong decision.

Design Thinking thinks about the user’s experience and the simple truth is that the stairs slow down people, especially when they are running to catch the bus. When it is has rained, which unsurprisingly happens quite often in Britain, the steps get extra slippery because of the water pooling on them.

In Design Thinking you also think a lot about extreme users. In the case of a flight of stairs the extreme users would for example be people with disabilities or difficulties in walking down/up stairs. I cannot imagine how these large steps would make life easier for extreme users. So as pretty as some people might think these stairs are, in terms of Design Thinking they are a bad design.

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