It was just 2-weeks since I had joined a new company. I heard someone utter the term, "cognitive dissonance", in a UI mockup review meeting.
The new company was a startup with a lot of young and energetic colleagues. I used to work for a big software corporation, and I was used to be one of the youngest persons among the group I hung around. I used to fret saying that in my old company, I was feeling out of place. People were talking about politics-with-their-own-biases, car-loan-or-home-loan. I used to wonder why no one was discussing startups or doing an MVP and execute things faster. Long story short, I was yearning for a change of environment. After crossing many hoops, I landed at a funded startup company.
I always got along well with the designers in all of my product manager stints. I love a designer's lens of looking at problems and world. It is during a conversation with a designer; one PM dropped this term, "cognitive dissonance" to critique a UI mockup given.
To be precise, the PM said, "There is too much of cognitive dissonance in this section. We should relook the information architecture and blah blah". The PM could have said, "This section is confusing. Can we think of redesigning this.". But as a PM we don't explain in simple language. We cannot let our guard down before a designer. We need to drop this jargon to sound smart.
Well, the same PM, in one of our daily stand-up meetings, looking at an excel sheet said: "Can you increase the width of the columns? There is too much cognitive overload". Meaning, it is cluttered.
Whenever I used to hang out with the designers, they used to call out this PMs jargon dropping and have a good laugh. I was clever enough to Google the term after the jargon-droppings and understood the meaning. I drop it only at the strategic occasions like arguing with a VP or the CEO. 😎