§ 7. Signs are the main indicators of the problem

Each of us comes across the restriction signs in public places, such as "No entry", "Staff only", "Don't throw paper in the toilet" and so on. However, very often these signs don't work effectively and people don't comply with these requests. I think that in order to find a solution for these problems, we should perceive these signs differently. In my opinion, signs are the indicators of an unsolved problem. If there is a sign, there is an unsolved problem. For example, if the sign says "Don't through paper in the toilet", it means that this is what most people do. In this case, it is not sufficient to hang a sign on the wall, because it will not eradicate the problem. I think it is necessary to look for a more natural and full solution for these problems.

In order to find a solution to any problem we follow these steps:

1. Realizing there is a problem. This makes up 50% of finding a solution. In the case of signs, there are the actual indicators of the problem.

2. Understanding the reason of the problem. We find the reasons from people and their habits.

3. Finding the solution.

This scheme of problem identification can be used in different cases. For example, a sign that says "No entry" indicates that many people enter the places they are not supposed to. After several questionnaires and research, we were able to reveal their main insight - "I see a door, I want to open it". Using this insight we decided that we needed to change the appearance of the door itself and make it invisible for strangers so that they wouldn't' have a subconscious desire to open it. This way, we were able to find a natural solution of the problem.

Another example can be the sign that says "Don't throw paper into the toilet", which is not sufficient to make people stop doing this. We talked to people that frequently visit public places and asked them: "Why do you throw paper in the toilet?". We received different answers: "It is easier for me to throw the paper in the toilet", "The toilet is closer than the bin", "It is faster", "I don't have to make an additional effort and open a bin". Having analyzed all these answers we came to a common insight: "I want to get rid of the paper fast and it is more comfortable for me to throw the paper in the toilet". Taking this into consideration we came to a solution. We decided to put a big, bright bin next to the toilet, which would make people throw the paper in it on a subconscious level.

Therefore, don't hang signs on the walls and expect them to solve the problem. It necessary to look for a reason and motivation for people. This is how you can find a natural and full solution, that people will follow subconsciously.