I wrote this post as a result of reading the article “Morph airline seating concept makes budget-travelling more comfortable” which was published at designlaunches.com. The article was based on a design concept released by Seymourpowell, a UK based design company.
The idea relates to aircraft seating where instead of having the three fixed width seats, which we have today, the total available width could be flexibly redistributed. The concept is described in detail in the Youtube video shown further down this page.
Watching this made me think about constraints and about combinations. The arrangement is really no more sophisticated than adjustable dividers in a filing system, but applied to seating. The sides of the seat are profiled not like a flat divider, but there is not much other difference.
Where could you think about changing your fixed distribution to using a flexible distribution?
Do you have to sell in sets of X?
A personal example, why can you only buy wheel trims in sets of four? One of my wheel trims was recently stolen, I want to buy one new trim, not four.
Where is a constraint which suits you, causing irritation to your customer?
In the wheel trim example, break open the pack and sell me one at 30% of the pack price. You can do that, but the big car parts distributors can’t. Result one happy customer, me. It is true that you may have lost a few pounds on that sell, but I am going to come back to you again, and I am going to tell my friends about how great it was to do business with you. You could perhaps try and sell the other three trims one at a time on ebay.
Where are your assumptions or traditions applying constraints? Are those constraints really necessary? What would it mean to your customers, and hence your business, if you broke with tradition?