Luis Abreu

Product Design

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A Personal Perspective on Familiarity and Motivation.

Sep 21, 2011

2 min read

“Generally refers to bringing into being or turning concrete.”

This is just a quick blurb on some observations and an effect of recent conversations.

Basically, I think it’s quite curious that quite often we see people skipping over the fact the some ideas aren’t as concrete as the person who’s pushing them thinks they are or perceives them.

Easiest examples are global warming, war, famine. You can’t ask for a large group of people, from a completely different social context to care about those matters, they never had contact with it, how could they care. They care about their friends falling down the stairs, loosing their jobs, and the reason why isn’t rocket science, it’s just things they’re familiar with, they know the consequences and require very few mental jumps to feel and assess the dangers of such thing happening.

We naturally have a sense of self preservation and a war in a remote location of the world isn’t something we can perceive as important without a decent deal of abstraction.

That obviously pisses me off and causes me to dismiss certain topics due to the predictable outcome: people are not close to the idea, flailing your arms and shouting what the idea is about isn’t gonna help.

Instead, a huge effort on education, giving people small step stones that allow them to reach your idea, is what we should be trying to do.

On a quick note: Politics is once more subject that would benefit from this, both on the perception side and when making effective decisions.

I also found a couple of occasions where people do understand their ideas aren’t fully understood by their target audience, but still choose to go for the quick win method which is clever communication, fabricate small ideas, adapted to their target, that easily tangible as beneficial, much like a marketing campaign of product X, but the problem is that we’re not selling product X and then gonna move on to product Y, we should be establishing a framework for people to perceive, understand, the whole product offer and the benefits of each one of them.

If we could skip the need spending time, worrying about how to ‘sell’ something like why should you care about famine in Africa, well, then we wouldn’t be living here would we.

Not asking for an utopia, just a little bit more cooperation.

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