As I often say, storytelling is bound to have an impact on your strategy. Because you don't just tell a story, you share a vision you want you users to feel excited about. Which means you must be honest about it from the beginning (the way you pitch it to them) to the end (the way you respond when you fail to your promise and face them at customer service).

From the bottom of my heart, I HATE it because...

So it's really key to strike the right cord. But how do you find the insight your users will keep being enthusiastic about? One way to do this is to go and talk to your extreme users.

This is the approach of truly innovative companies or agencies (like Ideo) when they search for meaningful feedback.

For instance, Herman Miller, a well-known furniture brand, came up with their bestseller, the Aeron chair, by observing and interviewing the people who sit the most in chairs: elderly people in retirement centers.

Of course, you can identify the most interesting truth by just listening to yourself, very honestly and with as little prejudices as possible. But sometimes this aha moment will come from hearing someone else say what you actually feel.

The upside of extreme users - i.e. people who would never use your product or who would be power-users - is that their own feelings about your product will be extreme, shameless of what people would think. "I absolutely hate this because...", "I'm totally addicted to this because..." 

On the other hand, the drawback of the average user is that he's unaware of what he likes or dislikes exactly. Which makes the truth less easy to spot.

Innovators and designers' practices are the one to follow here:

3-min readWant Breakthrough Ideas? First, Listen To The Freaks And Geeks (article by branding consultancy company Sense Worldwide)

4-min read: Extremes and Mainstreams (Design Kit by Ideo).

 

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