New Service Offering Idea: Personal user experience consultant

by phil on Monday Dec 22, 2008 5:28 PM
ideas for business

Leave it to me to turn complaining into a business...

Instead of an interior decorator or a feng shui consultant, why not offer people the service of making their living spaces more user-friendly. People all too often pick furniture that is uncomfortable, but simply looks good. Or they make the pathways between rooms and objects too unpleasant. Every experience in the household should be ergonomic, and easy to slip into and out of.

I can better explain this idea by bitching about my parent's place:

  • All the tables that become ad-hoc desks for laptops are not ergonomic.
  • Actually, all tables are too high, so sitting at them makes you feel like a child.
  • All the chairs in this house, when dragged around, make noises like scratching a chalk board.
  • The corners of the furniture are too sharp.
  • Ad-hoc pathways between pieces of furniture are too narrow.
  • The bed I sleep in has no headboard of any kind, so that pillows just fly off of it.
  • The way sound travels, nobody has any privacy.
  • The bathrooms have one too few towel racks.
  • The light switches are in inappropriate locations. (one is behind a towel rack, for example)

This could also be handy for restaurants and commercial establishments. Again, here's a similar list, based on a handful of dining experiences:
  • Don't you hate how the tables seem to always wobble?
  • The tables aren't large enough to handle the typical serving size of a family of four. (partly because the plates are too large)
  • The spaces between tables are too narrow, such that getting to your seat is a complete chore.
  • That fan is in the wrong place, and blows air too directly at about 7% of the guests.
  • The lighting is way too harsh in this part of the establishment.
  • The sound of the staff opening and closing the kitchen door is grating.

On a more serious side, for the elderly or disabled, the consultant would help keep members of the household safe. For example, that person would really make sure there are no sharp edges, that chairs are easy to manipulate, that all floorspace, bathtubs, and showers are impossible to slip on, etc.

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