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An example of observing People for smarter products

An example of observing People for smarter products

Say that People People is asked to design a new TV for Company X. The competition has been stronger than ever and they want a solution that ensures their place on the market. Where do we start? What do we do? How do we make sure that what we design is towards increased value?

Our creative process usually start with observing the target group. We bring cameras, big ears and stay meters from the people who should be attracted by the final product. No sketching or 3D-programs – this is about finding where most value can be created and to understand how to deliver on it.

Along with insights around TV’s, we all of a sudden we find this:
One remote control up side down

People turn their remote controls upside down. This is what we call a consumer behavior. And behind a behavior there is always a consumer need, waiting to be fulfilled with increased value.

When we find this behavior we will ask ourselves why it exists. Is it to hide the front? If so, what objects and products in the context are not treated this way and what makes the remote controls not qualify face up? Why are they not hidden away completely?

Company X has been focusing on higher screen resolutions, TV interfaces, screen sizes etc and are now asking us for our direction for a new TV design. They forgot that the product their customers interact with the most is the remote control. Customers hold that handheld, tactile piece of brand experience in their hands several times a day. The neglect of the remote control has gone so far that we now can observe it as a consumer problem.

We would tell Company X that there is an opportunity in coming up with a better remote control. We will also know what parameters to keep in mind when designing better alternatives. This makes it easier for us to know that the design direction we take is rational and motivated. Because of such a simple thing as a more taken care of remote control, company X might sell more TV’s than ever.

Without observing people, Company X might have missed out on a huge bucket of customer value.

A challenge in 3 questions:

  1. Which parts of your products is peripheral?
  2. Could improvements of them increase the product value more than you think?
  3. Could observing people help you get ideas that you never had before?