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Product Manager and UX Designer specialized in building mobile products using location data. 


Make Your Ideas Stick

Cathrine Gunasekara

Small world. This is the second time I've been at Google SF to watch a presentation and seen a photo of my Norwegian friend Agnete in one of their slides! She has nothing to do with Google, it's all just really random.  

I went to an IXDA event at Google SF today to hear John Douglass talk about How To Make Your Ideas Stick. John is leading the design research team responsible for Google’s social products.

It can sometimes be hard to .sell your idea or design recommendation to the stakeholder or client, and John talked about 3 simple communication methods to get people stuck on your ideas.

1. Make It Concrete

Concrete ideas engage the senses. Avoid UX speak and use metaphors and physical objects to make your idea more concrete. Facts are stickier when they are in human scale, so for instance, instead of saying "X gallons of water" you can say "X disposable plastic bottles" which is a scale people can easily grasp. 

 A counter automatically records how many times the water bottle portion of the station has been used. NPS photo.

A counter automatically records how many times the water bottle portion of the station has been used. NPS photo.


2. Tell A Story

Facts tell, stories sell. Stories actually changes your audience's physical state. Research has shown that our body simulates what we hear when we're engaged in a story so it can be a very powerful and sticky marketing tool. Make sure every story includes an activity, the motivation and description of the character. 
To default any criticism to your idea you can use stats. You'll find the stats in search logs, customer service logs or you can make a house call to get qualitative data.

3. Know Your First Audience

Not only do you need to conduct research on your users, but it's importance that you also understand your first audience, the people you need a buy-in from to get to your users. So conduct research on them as well and find their needs and goals. 

- How do they get promoted?
- What keep them up at night?
- What reduces their workload?

When you know, then when time comes to present your idea, start with a problem they care about and then reveal the solution.