Logos. Pathos. Ethos.

Varsha Jagdale
Mar 7, 2016 · 1 min read

As a designer, you often face a situation in which you have to convince the other stakeholders about your design decisions. This entails the skill of telling a very compelling story. I recently learned a new and effective persuasion technique in my Strategic Design Language course at Georgia Tech. The technique draws upon Aristotle’s principles of Logos, Pathos and Ethos.

Logos convinces the analytical part of the brain. In this, you tell a story through facts and numbers. As designers we can effectively leverage the insights we gained through quantitative research. Pathos appeals to the emotional mind. In this, we could build up on the user stories, personas and user journeys built from the qualitative research. Ethos is about establishing your credibility as a designer. This will be the hardest and the most time intensive part because the best way to achieve credibility is to have prior experience. But, then this can be a Catch-22 situation for new designers. For them, an alternative way would be to show the thoughtful thinking which went behind the delightful designs.

I used this technique in one of my courses; considering the fact that I didn’t flunk, I think it worked. But jokes apart, I now want to try this in several other projects.

    Varsha Jagdale

    Written by

    Searches for wisdom and wit. Researches human beings. User Researcher @VMware