Electric brush defaults

Most electric brush manufacturers use a 2 minute timer. This means 2 minutes is the industry standard default minimum time for a round of brushing.

I started using electric brushes two years ago. It occurred to me recently that the average time I’ve spent brushing in the last two years is 2 minutes.  That was definitely not the case pre-electric brushes. I hardly ever timed it but I’d imagine I regularly found an excuse to stop around 45 seconds in.

Of course, it is no coincidence. It is simply the power of defaults in action. There’s the obvious takeaway for product designers – be thoughtful about the defaults you put in your products. The 2 minute electric brush default may be the single greatest electric brush product feature.

But, I found myself wondering about the defaults I had in place in my day-to-day life. One such initiative, for example, involved having books in most corners of our home. My reading time at home more than doubled.

Some defaults are mental. Toward the end of last year, I switched my mental default of going into meetings with my laptop open and decided I would only try a dessert if I really wanted it (versus my previous “this looks interesting” approach). Similarly, my default desk posture is standing. Each of these mental defaults have dramatically changed my behavior.

We have defaults in place all around us. Here’s to being more thoughtful about them.