From the previous post – I was surprised by the benefit a simple graph change could have.

It also appeared I was not alone with my idiosyncrasies.  I saw normally mild-mannered folks getting upset and vocal over seemingly minor details – “WHITE text on a red background”! and taking issue with fonts, image sizes, summaries, recommendations.

Time to investigate.


Investigation became fascination about human behaviour and how the brain performs.

There are 2 systems in our brain:

System 1 – Fast. This is the brain that is described as fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypical, and unconscious. Think Homer Simpson.

System 2 – Slow. This is the brain that is slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating and conscious. Think Spock.

We operate on System 1 most of the time. As system 2 requires energy and effort we naturally try to avoid using it.

So my new graph was simple, easy to understand and System 1 friendly.

Similarly white text rather than black is easier to read on a red background… System 1 friendly.

Long numbers split into 3 smaller groups are easier to remember… System 1 friendly.


Ah ha – I like this!

Subsequently, many other documents, presentations, graphics, requests and tasks were restructured to be more System 1 friendly.

That enabled System 2 to be focussed on the project plans, risks and issues. Slow, logical, calculating and conscious discussions and actions.


Understanding that System 1 and System 2 exist

That changed my behaviour and ability to deliver projects.

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