Understanding unarticulated needs is key to product development. As designers, our job is to predict what the consumer’s want or need before they even realize it. We pinpoint the problems customers can’t adequately solve and create and deliver compelling solutions. We are constantly working to create a better user experience and make the consumer’s life a little easier.
In a recent article on Fast Company, Scott Anthony, of Innosight and the author of The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It, shares how to find hidden opportunities for innovation. These include spending time with customers, watching for workarounds, and focusing on non-consumers. One of our favorite quotes from the article says, “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it sells him. One reason for this is, of course, that nobody pays for a ‘product.’ What is paid for is satisfaction.” This is just as true, if not more true, in the world today as it was 50 years ago when Peter Drucker wrote this statement. Customers buy products not based solely on their design, but more on their functionality and how it will make their life a little easier. You can read the full article here—Anthony makes some outstanding points!