I’ve been thinking a lot about helpfulness lately (“the property of providing useful assistance“) and therefore usefulness. I’ve also been thinking about data, context and how to draw meaning – something that infographics literally do so well. Anyway, I decided to mesh everything together into the above flowchart. In essence, everything can be useful, but as you add a layer onto each, their usefulness becomes multifaceted and well, more useful!
I believe use can be often forgotten with people unable to question the inherent usefulness of things they create or release due to sentimentality or closeness to the product. They might end up down the road of building something that lacks application and/or true purpose… the adage of finding a solution without a problem. I like how Pieter Peach gets straight to the point with any idea: “How does it change a person’s life?“. And while on this note, don’t get confused about the scope of change – you don’t need to change the world to change a person’s existence. Often the most valuable changes are those that are subtle. Make a small positive difference.
If you bring it back to marketing, which on a base level, involves some sort of value exchange – you can see that the more useful you make a product (i.e. how indisposable it is to a person), the greater the exchange will be in the long run (can be non-monetary).
Provide as much value by being as useful/helpful as possible, and the reward will come…