Empathize with the customer to innovate

One of the fundamentals of design thinking is to be able to abstract the product or service you want to focus innovary to explore the needs, expectations or feelings that it should be able to cover or generate customers.

In the methodology to projects using design thinking, this is what comprises the first phase called Empathize, which aims to understand the context and understand the needs and motivations of the user or customer.

Empathize with the customer to innovateThe question is: How to empathize?, or in other words what techniques we can use to get it? Here are some examples of techniques to use (its applicability will depend on the type of product or service):

  • Shadowing. Watch our customer using our product (discovery of hidden requirements).
  • Daily. Provide our customers a daily point where the use made of the product / service.
  • Spider web. Starting from the product, customers draw other products or services.
  • Product box. Design by customers of the product packaging, including phrases and slogans that are relevant to them.
  • Buy to feature. Product characteristics are defined and are put price. Customers who purchase, based on a limited budget, who want those features are requested.
  • Extra feature. Variant of the prior art, in which striking features are included or absurd to see customer reaction.
  • Sheets decision. The customer must compare product features pairs in order to prioritize them.
  • The boat is sinking. Customers should remove the product or service features for the boat does not sink.

In short and how could it be otherwise, the focus must be on people and their needs, and we talk about people, not concepts as customers or consumers: people with face and eyes that want to experience certain experiences or feelings with our products or services.

Only after “empathized” with the client is when you can deal with guaranteed success the following phases:

  • Define: properly define the problem or challenge we face
  • Devise: generate ideas and explore possible solutions
  • Prototype: quickly transform ideas into something that customers can view and “touch”
  • Evaluate: You try to go polishing them through iterative cycles

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