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An argument for targeting unusual customers

Posted on: 11/16/2017| Source: http://www.slate.com

Many large businesses focus on personas, putting their customers into categories. This can create problems, however, because assumptions are made. This leaves a gap that detracts from the user experience when people do not fit any of the categories. For example, Maggie Delano just wanted to track her period but found that all the apps had extremely feminine themes and focused heavily on fertility. That did not apply to her, so she was turned off by the app. "This kind of thing happens all the time: Companies imagine their desired user and then start designing only for that narrow profile. A team becomes hyperfocused on one customer group, tailoring its messages to an imagined ideal user without pausing to ask who might be excluded, or how the broader range of people whose needs could be served by a product might be affected by those messages." Moral of the story - it doesn't hurt to be extra careful when it comes to being inclusive.



• Noticing that many smartphone games only included boy avatar options for free and charged an additional fee for female avatars, Messer embarked on an experiment: She downloaded the top 50 “endless-runner” games—games where players aim to keep their characters running as long as possible—from the iTunes Store and set about analyzing their default player settings.

• Try to bring up all the people design teams are leaving out and many in tech will reply, “That’s just an edge case!

• But when applied to people and their identities, rather than to a product’s features, the term “edge case” is problematic—it assumes there’s such a thing as an “average” user in the first place.

Are you a “Kelly,” the 37-year-old minivan mom from the Minneapolis suburbs? Or maybe you’re more of a “Matt,” the millennial urban dweller who loves CrossFit and cold-brew coffee? No? Well, this is how many companies think...[Read More]
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