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[MAYA principle] People like things that are familiar but surprising and vice versa.

[MAYA principle] People like things that are familiar but surprising and vice versa. [MAYA principle] People like things that are familiar but surprising and vice versa.
Source: Tanner Wayment via Dribbble
Never Leave Well Enough Alone
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Never Leave Well Enough Alone
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Being design consultants to one hundred and forty companies, most of them blue-ribbon corporations, and having been in very close contact with the consumer's reactions, we have been able to develop what I might call a fifth sense about public acceptance, whether it is the shape of a range, the layout of a store, the wrapper of a soap, the style of a car, or the color of a tugboat. This is the one phase of our profession that fascinates me no end. Our desire is naturally to give the buying public the most advanced product that research can develop, and technology can produce.

Unfortunately, it has been proved time and time again that such a product does not always sell well.

There seems to be for each individual product (or service, or store, or package, etc.) a critical area at which the consumer's desire for novelty reaches what I might call the shock-zone. At that point the urge to buy reaches a plateau, and sometimes evolves into a resistance to buying. It is a sort of tug of war between attraction to the new and fear of the unfamiliar. The adult public's taste is not necessarily ready to accept the logical solutions to their requirements if this solution implies too vast a departure from what they have been conditioned into accepting as the norm. In other words, they will go only so far. Therefore, the smart industrial designer is the one who has a lucid understanding of where the shock-zone lies in each particular problem. At this point, a design has reached what I call the MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable) stage.

How far ahead can the designer go stylewise? This is the all-important question, the key to success or failure of a product. Its satisfactory solution calls for an understanding of the tastes of the American consumer.

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