Strong ideas, weakly held.

Or advocating with humility.

I follow a User Centred Design process, research informs design which is researched which informs the design and so on.

For any design the initial idea can and should be the result of a need identified by research. In some cases ideas result from psychology theory. I talk more about ideas from theory in my book.

The design idea needs to be advocated.

Outlining the user need and business value, the psychology theory behind it, the research that uncovered it. It needs someone to push for that design idea to be taken forward.

That design idea you are pushing may be the incorrect one. Evidence you don’t know about may emerge which proves it’s a bad idea. It might have been tried before by the organisation and they know why it didn’t work. It may not be cost effective. Whatever the reason, there is reason why the idea shouldn’t be taken forward.

This isn’t personal. Don’t confuse ego with idea. Don’t be that person who bases everything around the idea, argues for the idea for the victory not because it’s the best thing to do. It’s a sure fire way to an unhappy life.

A strong idea should be weakly held, advocate the idea to the best of you ability. If it’s proved wrong, let it go and move on to the next strong idea.


Also published on Medium.

5 Responses to “Strong ideas, weakly held.”

  1. Phil @PhilipWhere

    Ideas are like children. You do all you can to nurture them but in the end they have to stand on their own two feet. In addtion there are millions of them and yours are not necessarily special. I like the ideas are like children metaphor, although I don’t extend it to having lots of different ideas with different women all over town.

  2. mrjoe

    What if they are bad ideas / bad children? Let them waste away or call idea social workers. Love the analogy.

  3. Phil @PhilipWhere

    Definitely where the analogy ends. Bad ideas are best filed away somewhere and forgotten about. Plus if someone else has a bad idea you should probably politely try and kill it.

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