danger: the emdash process 03

If you can identify moments of high emotion & plan your way around, you achieve maximum impact.
Matthew Townsley
September 14, 2021

For those enjoying our series, we appreciate your support. If this is your first article, we're glad you're here. I have no doubt you’ll find something useful & interesting.

This is the third in a series of 4 articles that outlines our process Action, Adventure, Danger & Romance that we like to follow when partnering with a business to launch their digital product or really make their customer experience shine, but in reality it’s a framework that anyone, be it founder or product owner, can apply to structure their approach when making their big idea a reality.

Now I must warn you viewer discretion is advised as this is not for the faint of heart for we move into the next phase, Danger.

We know all about our hero, we know where they have come from and we know the adventure we are taking them on, but as with any great story, there are always challenges that the hero needs to rise above. These plot twists will be unexpected, you won’t always see them coming, but once they are revealed you can design a solution to overcome them.

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1. validate everything
2. identify opportunities
3. adapt where needed

We’ve mentioned along the way about making assumptions, and this is a perfectly acceptable way to plan and design a solution, but it is imperative we validate those assumptions before proceeding too far.

This ensures you don’t waste money or time on that no.1 absolute must-have killer feature if it turns out customer’s just aren’t that interested in it, or there are a number of things they deem more important.

In that case, you can keep it on the roadmap, just push it down the priority list. It also means if a minor villain suddenly becomes our hero’s arch-nemesis and we need to pivot, we haven’t over invested making the change hard, slow or difficult to implement.

And by the way, a pivot needn’t be a huge change in the idea, it can, but it can also just be a slight shift in the adventure.

Before it achieves villain status, we need to hear about the same danger from several customers. Really we’re taking about pattern recognition, so with the journey they’ve been on, we’re looking for those moments experienced by everyone.

When we uncover these moments, we think of them as either aspirational or cautionary. Cautionary, as we know danger is lurking nearby and we need to help our hero get past it, and aspirational, as we can lift them to a great victory.

To these ends our methodology of Action, Adventure, Danger & Romance is a truly agile approach.

By being reactive we can identify and design for the cautionary moments, and pro-actively design for the aspirational ones.

If you can identify these moments of high emotion & plan your way around, you achieve maximum impact.

As you talk to customers, you will hear all about what is stopping them from achieving their goal. These are the pain points in their journey, and the villain in your story. We need to help our hero thwart the evil villain’s plans and triumph against them.

Discovering these moments will present a challenge, the problem may have been around for a long time and across many different products or services, but is a great opportunity to garner that a-ha moment by providing a solution that previously didn’t exist.

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.”
- Peter Drucker