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Three Design Principles

Key things to creating and selling your Value Proposition.


Ian H Smith

Here are my Three Design Principles when applying Design Thinking to create and sell next generation Value Propositions:

  1. Meaningful Journey
  2. Fierce Reduction
  3. Progressive Disclosure

#1. Meaningful Journey

When creating a Value Proposition, the first thing to create is its journey: the path, steps or tasks that buyers will complete in evaluating, testing and acquiring a product or service, undertaking a work engagement or solving a big and important problem.

With Design Thinking, this means removing steps or tasks that are wasteful or unnecessary. This journey must be a Meaningful Journey: step-by-step - typically starting with a proof-of-concept or a trial.

#2. Fierce Reduction

When decision-makers and influencers get confused or hesitant with a Value Proposition, it's usually because what they are confronted with is too big a step to take at the outset. Often, there needs to be a way to break the problem being solved into a set of smaller problem-solving or value creation steps. This means simplifying everything.

What's needed is a Fierce Reduction mindset: a way to eliminate everything that distracts from any action at each stage of what should be a Meaningful Journey to solve each problem (or set of problems) or measurably achieve value creation.

#3. Progressive Disclosure

When designing a Meaningful Journey and applying Fierce Reduction, it is better to have more steps - e.g. proof-of-concept or trial - than ask for a 'leap of faith' in taking a bigger step, when what's usually required is a series of progressive, iterative steps.

This is Progressive Disclosure. It means that with a Fierce Reduction mindset, you will have to engage in a trade-off between incremental problem-solving or value creation versus bolder, bigger steps in any progressive, to plot the right iterative steps of a Meaningful Journey.


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