Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lucky number Seven

Several years ago, I wrote a letter to my bosses at the time about our selection of items on a shelf.

At the time we either had only 1 (or none), or we had a plethora of useless options.  Often having only 1 choice was unavoidable, and I didn't have a problem with that (tho' I wrote to them about it to hopefully try to get our distributors off their butts to get more selection).  However, having 20+ of another item was just inane.

I argued that we needed no more than 7 on a shelf of any item.  Why have the several versions of the same ("...and this one's exactly the same except it has just one more feature, and then the same thing with this one, it has 2 more...")?  You could have one item out symbolically to represent that series, especially as they are so close in features, there'd be no need to duplicate.  I believe I even used the phrase "studies have shown that 7 is the optimal number for choice".

It's funny because as listening to the radio that I heard them say that 6 seemed to be a breaking point in making selections.  Pretty darn close!

Did I actually look that kinda studies up back then?  Probably not as that was a time when I had more rants than the normal person.  More likely I pulled that number out based on the spacing on the shelves we had.  Still, cool to be vindicated these many years later.  I should dig out that letter and find somebody to wave it in their face.

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