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Choice architecture is about nudging people in a particular direction.

Encouraging them to take a certain course of action.

Do it well, and they might not even notice.

Placing healthier foods at eye level would be one example.

And sometimes choice architecture is literally about… well, architecture.

The National Portrait Gallery had a problem.

The ground floor was always packed.

But the upper floors were practically empty.

People just wouldn’t go there.


What was creating that resistance?

It was the layout.

Namely, there were flights of stairs to climb.

Basically —

Gravity: 1

Love of art: 0

They thought about it and asked around.

Turns out, another museum had managed to fix the same problem.

It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim museum in New York.

So the National Portrait Gallery copied their homework.

They installed a huge escalator right by the entrance.

Taking the visitors straight to the top floor.

So they’d only ever need to walk downstairs, not up.

Choice architecture: 1

Gravity: 0

Next time you’re wondering why people aren’t doing what you’d like them to do, ask the question: where’s the resistance?

That’s where you’ll find your solution.


Solved is a problem-solving blog for entrepreneurs, creators, and anyone else who uses their brain for a living. 


Some articles are anti-BS action plans to help your business grow. Others are questions that help you crack problems laterally and creatively.

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