Fried Training Talk- Smudged Finger Prints

Published: Friday, August 14, 2020
Updated: Friday, August 14, 2020

Are smudged finger prints moral?

I hope everyone is having a Happy Friday.

You may have noticed the fingerprints on today’s black and white logo. They are there because I want to present a theory that was taught to me back in my early days as an instructional designer. It was called the Smudged Finger Print Model.

Some of you may have heard of this. The basic procedure is that when you present a new product for review by the client you “intentionally” add a large mistake (smudged finger print) for the reviewers to find and correct. In theory this has a few positive effects:


  • It allows reviewers to give you feedback you are already prepared to act on and correct quickly
  • It takes reviewers’ focus off other smaller imperfections less important to the actual design
  • It makes the client feel they are contributing and you are being responsive to their needs

So, what I am asking you is to give me your best argument why using the smudged finger print model is or is not moral?

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