Imaginary Research – How to Design More Human Stuff by Kate Nightingale
People don’t buy products, they buy the symbolic meaning behind these products. In this ProductTank London talk, Kate Nightingale, Founder of Style Psychology, takes us through the steps of imaginary research and teaches us how to design more human stuff.
Her key points include:
- Applying research findings
- Steps of imaginary research
Watch the video to see Kate’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.
Applying Research Findings
There’s a lot of research being done that relates to consumerism and consumer behavior. However, in Kate’s experience, this research is not being applied appropriately. She believes that anyone building or designing products should be using imaginary research to avoid succumbing to fundamental psychological research flaws. One way to do this is to create a mental manipulation of the mind’s design and propose solutions to the problem.
Steps of Imaginary Research
The first question you need to ask yourself is ‘who is the customer?’. This refers to the personality of the customer, not their age demographics or lifestyle as typically done. You also need to ask ‘who is the brand?’.
According to research done in psychology and neuroscience, our minds perceive brands as human beings. A brand, therefore, needs to be given human-like characteristics. Similarities attract and the brain hates conflict, therefore we need to determine if the brand and the personality of the customer match each other.
Contrary to popular belief, a product doesn’t truly fulfil any need that we as humans have. Instead, we resonate with the symbolic meaning behind the product. The product must also be able to speak to our subconscious. If it isn’t intuitive or obvious what it does, then it won’t sell.
The key takeaways from Kate’s talk are that, as product people, we need to reverse engineer the process to design the right product. We should imagine the product and make it touchable in order to create something which the customer will want.
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