What is the Peak-End Rule card?
Elevate key moments within your idea, spot potential pain points, and give a satisfying ending.
Our memories are dominated by snapshots; by highs and lows, and by whatever happens last. Think about the last trip you went on, and maybe you’ll be able to trace this pattern. Is your memory an average of everything that happened? More likely you remember an amazing meal, or that day you got a blister from too much walking.
How to use the Peak-End Rule card
1. Draw the following pattern on your wall/whiteboard:
2. Start with the low point. Using sticky notes, give participants 5 minutes to list anything frustrating, confusing, or off-putting about the idea, or about the scenario your idea fits into. When the time’s up, give everyone another 5 minutes to add corresponding sticky notes (in a contrasting colour) with thoughts on how we might remove these issues, or at least make them less painful.
3. Repeat this process for the high point. First, what’s likely to be the most exciting or rewarding moment when someone experiences the idea? Then, how might we make that moment feel even more special or satisfying?
4. When you’re ready to explore the ending, set another 5 minute timer and offer participants the following prompts:
a) What happens next for our audience?
b) Based on that, what mood should we evoke at the end? Do we need to reassure, or celebrate, or build excitement about the future? Something else?