‘Wanna Figure Out If Your Product Is Any Good? Think Like A News Editor’

I am wildly, obviously biased when it comes to the utility-of-journalists-in-the-product-management-world, but here’s a provocative argument about applying “news logic” to product design:

News logic is a simple filter applied throughout a design project that asks, Is this newsworthy? It is not design just to get noticed. It’s an inherent logic in the new technology culture. Blogs want to get the most views, and what gets views is great content. So working backward, if you design as though a design blog may cover your work, you’re embedding an expectation of quality in the work from the outset of the project, before you even start prototyping. The work benefits, because instead of working in the relative isolation of client/designer, you build in a level of accountability. If what you’re doing is not newsworthy, then why are you bothering to do it? The client benefits because if the designer does her job well, the work will get picked up by a blog and result in more publicity for the client.

Caveats abound, however. Not least of all I’d argue building a product that solves a problem or fills a gap in the market, focussing on customer service and listening to your users are more important than press coverage.

Because journalists and bloggers are hella fickle. We are like the easily-distracted dogs of UP, always chasing after the new, new thing. SQUIRREL! And there will always be a new, new thing.

So by all means, follow the advice offered in the post:

if you have a story worth telling at the core of what you design, then you increase your chances of designing something meaningful for the world.

Just don’t expect that a) frothy press coverage will necessarily follow, no matter how excellent the product or that b) frothy press coverage equals success. Remember Color? Right.


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