The other weekend, I took my son to visit HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship. The tour was quite amazing – up and down decks, as we explored every nook and cranny of the legendary ship.Now, I wonder: what if we thought of the reader of a proposal as a ‘visitor’, on a ‘guided tour’ of the solution?
They’d have to be welcomed professionally. They’d want to assimilate the basics quickly (where are we going to go, what will we get to see, how long will it last?). They’d expect their host to be well-informed: to present clearly, to use language and concepts appropriate for the whole in the party – not too advanced for the younger kids on the tour, not too simple to patronise or bore the adults.
They’d have questions of their own, of course, although they would be amazed at quite how well the guide covered all of the information that they wanted to hear. There’d be high-quality supporting materials – a booklet here, a fact sheet there – for those who wanted to learn more.
They’d end the trip feeling as though they had been made welcome, valued, respected. They’d have taken away some fascinating new knowledge. They’d recommend the experience to their friends.
I could have fun with this. At the highest level, getting a team working on an opportunity to think about the experience that they wanted the visitors to enjoy might unlock some cool, shared thoughts on the characteristics of the successful proposal. And I could see this adding an interesting, unusual perspective to the content design process. I like the idea of drawing a plan on the wall of the proposal war room – the layout of an old house, for example. The team could label each room with different sections of the proposal; they could debate where the tourists would go first, and think about how to make the experience work best for all who approach the front door.