Lois V. Vierk
From 'The Muse that Sings', by Ann McCutchan.
The above quotation from the composer Lois V. Vierk emphasises a simple but much overlooked truth: useful, effective and truly attractive ideas must not only exist intellectually within our heads (and look good upon computer screens) but also live within our lives and feel good physically and emotionally.
The logical design of the London Millennium Footbridge looked good upon the computer screen but when tested by the reality of large numbers of pedestrians walking - and swaying - across it in unison, it provided an experience which felt physically and emotionally bad. (The bridge was closed for nearly two years whilst it underwent expensive modifications to reduce its side-to-side sway. Londoners still call it the 'Wobbly Bridge'!)
Give your ideas the best start in life by developing and testing them in three dimensions: the physical, the logical, the emotional.
Ask the following simple questions:
- Can you create a physical model of your idea that people can experience and interact with? Can you make your idea tangible to others? Can you gain a sense of its look and feel within people's lives?
- Can you describe your idea logically? Can you clearly articulate its rationale, its reason for being? Can you list its strengths and weaknesses and how the former can be maximised and the latter minimised?
- What are people's gut reactions to your idea? What do people love or hate about your idea? How can you help people love your idea more? How can you help people hate your idea less?