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Pain Filled ‘Sign of the Time’

“Huh, what does that sign say?  What time is it?  How fast am I going?  What time bracket I am in?  OK, I can speed up.  Wait, the clock in car is five minutes fast so I am actually in different zone. I need to slow down.”

With no school in session, the speed limit on a road in Detroit Michigan is 45 mph.  On school days, this sign lists six different time intervals where the speed limit drops to 25 mph.

Now imagine the policeman who is enforcing the speed limit. 

“Why did you stop me officer?” says the driver. 

“I stopped you because you were going 45 in a 25” says the policeman. 

“It was 7:51 officer” says the driver. 

“No, it was 7:52” says the policeman.

The person designing the sign wanted to give drivers the maximum amount of time to drive 45 vs 25, but didn’t fully think through how it would affect drivers (customers) and policemen (employees).

While we have the best of intentions, we sometimes make things more complex than we need to and it confuses our customers and employees.  SO make things easy on everyone by creating simple experiences from the perspective of your customers, not yours and beta test your new process before rolling it out to everything. 

I am sure that had this sign been reviewed by several mom drivers and the police, it would never have been posted.


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