Designing for Success: The Science of “Optimal Newness”

Every day Shoobx clients—and startups around the world—are working to develop products that will entice consumers. A recent article in The Atlantic, The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything, traces the history of the designers and researchers unpacking “Why do people like what they like?” In the early 20th century Raymond Loewy, now considered the father of industrial design, distilled the desires and behaviors of consumers to a simple acronym, MAYA. Author Derek Thompson summarizes:

Consumers… gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. Loewy called his grand theory “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”—MAYA. [Loewy] said to sell something surprising, make it familiar; and to sell something familiar, make it surprising.

These ideas continue to drive product design and marketing. At Shoobx we see clients every day who, whether by study or instinct, are developing successful products that strike the right balance of MAYA to build and grow their businesses.