Progress Visualisation

Without going into potentially incriminating detail, I saw something quite remarkable in the  wardrobe of a young lady recently.

It was a sheet of paper stuck onto the inner mirror, revealed when she opened the door.

In a huge font size, arranged neatly in a pair of columns, were numbers. In total there were fourteen. They started, top-left, with a figure in blazing deep red (I, of course, couldn’t possibly betray the actual number, suffice to say that it was an amount in kgs). Further figures zig-zagged down in increments of half a kilo until the final one, bottom-right, in a temptingly luscious green.

The top three numbers all had a date scribbled next to their respective printout marker.

I naturally had to delve deeper. It was her way of measuring herself against the goal of getting in better shape.

The colours were her idea of showing up the pleasing journey (using traffic light style calibrations all the way through so that in fact each number was slightly different throughout the overall red-to-green transformation).

It was an impressive sight. As an aside, I wonder whether the sheet would have been better placed elsewhere? Yes, the wardrobe may be opened every day, ensuring regular viewing, but what about being on the bathroom mirror, or fridge door for instance?

Every salesperson probably knows that they should construct scoreboards that chart their personal progress. In how many sales offices that you’ve been in have you seen such a simple demonstration of personal targets? I have to say that in all my travels around sales rooms, their appearance is so rare as to render them practically extinct.

To those that say something like ‘it’s on my computer’, perhaps you’re missing the point. Surely only where a stark unavoidable obtrusive omnipresent message is displayed can it make the impact desired.

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