Insights Behind the Product Design: Pt. 1 – ZerModus

Insights Behind the Product Design: Pt. 1

 

Pulling back the curtain with the ZerModus Founder & Creative Director, Elizabeth Rose Fischer

 

Tell us why you chose to design a paper product in the midst of the digital age?

I’ll start by giving you a visual, something I’m sure many of you have experienced yourself.  Picture this: You’re holding a meeting in your office with two of your direct reports. Both are taking notes. One is putting notes in their phone, and the other is writing things down on paper.

Now let me ask you this, who do you trust is listening to you and being respectful of you?

The person writing notes on paper… right? Now let me also ask you this… When was the last time you received an app as a gift? Probably never.

And when was the last time you scrolled through your project management system reminiscing over your accomplishments? Maybe some of you have done that, but it’s few and far between. People hold onto their planners as a memento from different points in their life. Paper is personal.

So now I’ll circle back around to our founding mission. And that mission is to empower people.

Do you feel more empowered when you’ve made a decision to do something or when someone has asked you to do something?

Humans enjoy having free-will and are more inclined to work harder when that is coming from internal, and not external motivations.

Productivity apps are great, but they generally aren’t created from a place of empowerment because they allow others to measure your productivity which then shifts the tone from empowerment to management.

And finally, I’ll state that designing paper products enables me to deliver on the promise I make to my customers about the experience they can expect to have with our product. And by that I mean, there are only so many variables of things that can go wrong when you have a paper product. Worst case scenario, someone receives the wrong color variant or the product was damaged in the mail and can easily be replaced.  This product does not require wifi or data storage. And it doesn’t need regular updates or constant bug fixes.

It merely requires a writing instrument and your beautiful brain. Oh, and did I mention that it’s scientifically proven to be more effective to write things down… especially when it comes to your goals.

 

Tell us more about the name. Why is this product called the Everyday Visionary?

The market for daily planners has become extremely popular. If you search just on Kickstarter alone, you get over 500 campaigns from people who have launched new concepts for planners. And nearly every single one of those concepts has the word “planner” in the product title or on the front cover of the product. You have the Passion Planner. The Panda Planner. The Spark Planner. The Focus Planner. The 10x Planner. …. you get the gist. 

I didn’t want the word “planner” associated with this name unless it had to do with SEO for our Product Listings. I want our customers to identify with being an Everyday Visionary, because when you do that, you feel empowered.

This concept of being an Everyday Visionary means that you have the ability to see what "can be" in your mind’s eye before you see it in reality with your own two eyes.

Our brains process information in a visual context. For example, when I say the word “Zebra,” you do not think of the word “Zebra,” no, you think of an image of an actual Zebra. So when we translate that to the practice of goal setting, you need to be visualizing how you will accomplish your goals on a daily basis. This simple act is the main ingredient for being an Everyday Visionary because what we focus on, we create.

Zebra 
"Zebra" vs "Zebra"

When you focus on your goals by first, writing them down, then visualizing them, then reinforcing them with a daily mantra, and then choosing one thing to prioritize for that day, you can’t help but set yourself up for success.


Why is it a 12-week planner and not a 12-month planner?

Why is the sky blue? Haha just kidding. Ok, so there are two main reasons behind this decision. One is physical and one is mental.

This is a true daily planner. And by that I mean, there’s a full page dedicated to the layout for each weekday. That requires a lot of paper. If we were to maintain this design and extend it to a 12-month version, this thing would be so thick and bulky, it would just be too much.

And to follow up that, having 12-months of plans in your hands is daunting. It’s easy enough for people to get overwhelmed with a mere 12-weeks of planning, could you imagine asking them to do that for the entire year? They’d give up and put the planner away and never touch it again after getting a few months in and realizing so much of what they expected to happen hasn’t happened yet.

Twelve-weeks of planning feels a lot more doable for most people. And with this particular product, you start with a 12-week objective and then break that down into weekly goals so that you go through the motions of considering what really needs to happen in order for you to attain that objective.

When you finish your planner and you’re ready to get a new one, you feel a sense of accomplishment because so often people don’t finish using an entire planner.

By getting to hit the refresh button essentially on a quarterly basis, you get momentum going towards your goals and you start believing in yourself and your ability to stick with something.


Why is it made in America?

Once more, I’ll circle back to our founding mission, which is to empower people. I couldn’t have that be our mission and then have our product made in a factory, oversees, in working conditions that would be questionable at best, and horrifying at worst. Not to mention the language barrier, several month long delivery schedules, lesser quality materials….etc.

I knew I wanted to find a local partner who I could trust to deliver a high-quality product in a timely manner. I’ve personally met and shaken hands with every individual responsible for the production of this product. Sure, doing that means that the price point goes up, but that was also something we’ve done by design.

When you spend $34 on the Everyday Visionary, you are making an investment in yourself and in your goals. To say this planner is not worth that is a lot like saying your goals aren't worth that investment.

If it were a $15-$20 product you might feel indifferent towards using it. But when it’s something that’s not a trivial cost, you think to yourself “Agghhh I really need to use this, this wasn’t cheap.”

Also, let's just break down the cost real quick while we’re at it. $34 for 12-weeks comes down to $11.33/month.

So I’ll end by saying if you can afford to Netflix n Chill then you can afford to invest in manifesting your vision for your life.

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