In the current information climate, the world is full of ideas – big ones, small ones, important and unimportant ones. More so than ever, the relevant question content designers need to be asking themselves is, how do we create and nurture ideas that will remain successful in the world?

The framework for designing successful content lies in the structure of the content itself. Six core principles to design successful ideas are found in Made To Stick. Brothers and authors, Chip and Dan Heath introduce qualities that make ideas “sticky”. They argue that it is this “stickiness” that leads to the longevity of ideas and retention of content.

  • Simple

Not exactly keeping it simple, stupid! Simple here means – refine your idea to the core. What are the most essential elements that make your idea work. Keep it compact and highlight the single most important aspect of your idea. This process teaches content designers how to master the art of exclusion. The core idea helps people make decisions by reminding them of what is important.

  • Unexpected

In order to hold an individual’s interest one must create a need to discover the outcome of the idea. The unexpectedness in your idea should represent a break from the everyday routine humans are used to. Part of effectively communicating is gaining attention and then keeping it. Ideas should be communicated in such a way that jolts the individual’s attention and creates curiosity. Creating a sense of need to fill a gap knowledge is essential.

  • Concrete

Ideas should be presented in terms of sensory information, an idea is concrete when it can be described or detected by human senses. A concrete idea is a clear idea. This clarity allows for making coordination of a targeted goal clearer. An effective concrete idea is one that means the same thing to everyone.

  • Credible

Credibility speaks to believability. It provides reason to believe that the idea is true. One way of providing this credibility is through true authorities who are considered to be experts. Often it is difficult to provide experts, alternately this credibility can be reinforced through a variety of sources. These sources can be understood to be statistics, personal experience, test cases and anti-authorities.

  • Emotions

People matter to themselves therefore invoking the emotion of self-interest in your idea helps to appeal to an individual’s identity. Emotions give one a reason to care about the idea. This helps your idea to resonate a level below one’s immediate consciousness and appeals to an individuals wishes, desires and hopes. Individuals make decisions based on identity more so than rationally therefore an idea that appeals to emotion has a strong effect on an individual.

  • Stories

Stories help to effectively imbed ideas into an individual’s mind. A good story provides inspiration and moves people to action. There are three main types of stories – the challenge: a typical underdog story, the connection: people developing relationships that bridge a divide and the creativity: a story that has a mental breakthrough problem solving through innovation. Stories help individuals to foster imagination and acts as a stimulus chamber. This encourages individuals to think about different thoughts and feelings they may not have explored before.