Can consumers discover what they want in products and services by designing them?

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According to Russ Ackoff:

“It is in design that people find what they want. Furthermore, consumer involvement in product/service design almost always gets creative results.

Two examples. A group of men designing their ideal men’s store discovered that they did not want the lowest price for clothing of a specified quality but the highest quality for a specified price. (They decided how much they were going to spend before going shopping.) Second, they wanted clothing arranged by size rather than type so they could go to one part of a store where all types of clothing in their size were gathered. (Because they disliked shopping, they waited until they wanted to buy several things before they went shopping.) Third, they wanted saleswomen, not salesmen, because they said ‘You can’t trust a man’s opinion of how you look’. Finally, they wanted sales personnel to be available only when asked for.

Then, a group of airline passengers playing with a mock-up of an airplane’s interior found out how to arrange the seats so each one was on an aisle, and do so without decreasing the number of seats or increasing the number of aisles.”

[Pages 24 and 25 of A Little Book of F-Laws by Russ Ackoff]

About Arie Goldshlager

Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, and Innovation Consultant
This entry was posted in Customer Co-Creation, Customer Insight, Innovation. Bookmark the permalink.

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