118: Behavioral Science in Product Design: Subtraction Thinking

118: Behavioral Science of Subtraction in Product Design

March 16, 2022

With Leidy Klotz, Professor at University of Virginia

118: Behavioral Science of Subtraction in Product Design

Leidy Klotz has his PhD in Behavioral Science and is a professor at the University of Virginia. He is the Author of the New York Times bestselling design book called Subtract. His research has been featured in many publications, including the front cover of Nature magazine. Today, Leidy is going to share some valuable knowledge with inventors, startups, and small manufacturers on how to understand what it means to think about subtraction in your product development process and employ best practices for ensuring world-class subtraction thinking for your product.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Science explains why we don’t think of subtraction
  • This is a problem baked in evolution
  • Simple is hard, and requires improved cognition
  • Balance Bike / Construction Cinder Blocks
  • How do you do Subtraction better
  • Give yourself Reminders
  • Next time you have a design decision to make, try and think just as much about subtraction as you do about addition
  • Build subtraction into your design process
  • Put design rules into play for being great at subtraction
  • First you have to think of it, then you have to choose it.
  • Highlight in your design what is not there


Leidy Klotz / Subract Links:

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Mako Design Links:

Kevin Mako Links:

Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.