Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is it all about Design and Experience?


While conducting a seminar on Design Innovation and a Design Charrette at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), I left the students with the question whether in the final analysis it was all about design and experience of any product before they began their Charrettes?

The deep consumer understandings gleaned at places such as the Innovation Centers at Procter & Gamble enable product companies to capture the sale at the point of purchase - First Moment of Truth (FMOT) as P&G puts it, see definition here. My work at the various Innovation Centers around the world continuously helped me realize that P&G had captured the essence of reaching the consumer - Design enables success at FMOT.

See my friend and colleague Franz Dill's blog here discussing P&G's Innovation Centers and some of the work we did as detailed in Mr. A. G. Lafley's book "The Game Changer". Franz was also the founder of the first Innovation Center there.

While the above is a commercial venture for increasing shareholder value, I was happy to see that in academia SCAD has introduced anthropology and psychology to compliment their excellent curriculum in Industrial Design program, see here.

The quality of experience offered by the product or service may or may not result in repeat business. This is where the product companies of the world are engaging in immersive and experiential environments for learning consumer behavior. See another of Franz's blog here regarding Cargill's Innovation Center.

The SCAD students produced impressive results for the dilemmas I brought to them from UAE and Germany. My friends and faculty at SCAD that is; the Industrial Design Dean - Mr. Victor Ermoli, the Chair - Mr. Tom Gattis and a dedicated Professor - Mr. Robert Fee, should feel proud of their accomplishments as the No. 3 Industrial Design program in the USA.

This Charrette helped me solidify my belief that in the end, yes, it is all about design and experience. Or did Dr. Ivan Pavlov already discover this indirectly in the late 19th century when he developed the concepts of Classical Conditioning?

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