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Make Ideas Happen (Part 1): Creating Things of Value

by connectedpotential
May 17, 2014

Earlier this year I was thrilled to receive a fellowship to the 2014 99u conference in New York City. The conference was on driving ideas to implementation, and taking action to “make ideas happen”. The 99u fellows represented a diverse group from around the country working on ideas that would create change in big ways. I was stoked. 

This is the first in a three part series about lessons learned from the 99u conference from some of the leading design thinkers in the field. Take it, learn it, and do great things.

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Building and Nurturing Great Products with Julie Zhuo, Director of Product Design at Facebook

When you are creating something of great value, you first have to identify what that value is. Is this idea worth developing? Will it make a noticeable difference to the person you hope to serve? No one can deny Facebook's ability to create products and services that command the user's attention and create value for their users. During her master class on great product design for the 99u conference, Julie Zhuo pointed to three main areas her team considers when creating a new product or service for their users:

1)  Are you creating value? Are you solving a real and tangible problem to the person the concept or product is designed for? Is your solution immediately and tangibly valuable? Is it valuable enough for a person to keep using your product or service over time? Defining value is about addressing a very real and tangible need.

2)  Is your idea / product easy to use? Is the solution you are proposing the easiest possible solution for the person you hope to serve? Is it clear, and easy to understand?  Is it designed to be fast and responsive to the needs of your community of users? Great products are simple to understand, and easy to use in addressing a real and tangible need.

3)  Is it well-crafted? Are there moments of delight and connection in the services you provide? Are you seen as human and approachable through the services that you offer? Do you handle failures gracefully? Although this point relates most to tangible products, how can it be incorporated to other areas of work? Are you building networks of support and community as part of the work you are doing? Are you able to deliver on the value you promise in a way that is pleasing to the people interacting with your service?

All great products and services start with value. What is the value you are bringing to the world?

Connected Potential provides young adults with the advice, resources, and personal/professional connections needed to implement the social change projects that energize and inspire them. Join us now and #makechangehappen.


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