Superstitions In Design Clients Believe
People are surprisingly self-deceiving. We allow ourselves to believe many things that are not true simply because they make us feel better or meet a need that we have. And many other people like to take advantage of this fact. From advertisers to employers to politicians, there is an endless stream of people telling us exactly what we want to hear.
Of course, this also extends to Design. However, as designers, we have the ability to help people understand their lives and make smart decisions as consumers.
1. snobbish appeal: “this” is better than “that”
What users think is true about a product can be very different from reality. A good example of this is luxury cars compared to ordinary cars. Technically, there is not much difference in the manufacture of a luxury car compared to a normal car. Of course, there may be a few standard parts or surfaces that are replaced at the factory.
However, the way luxury cars are marketed to buyers gives the impression that luxury cars are in a completely different stratosphere than they are not. The driving experience may be slightly better. The seats can be made of softer leather, and the trim on the dashboard can be made of polished wood instead of plastic. But it’s still just a car.
The frame is exactly the same type of metal (it must be – the safety rules require it), and you always come at the same time from point A to point B. You are no safer in a luxury car than in a normal car – the real difference lies in your mind. It’s about the visceral experience – most of what we do is unconscious, so we don’t know why we’re doing it. More importantly is…
2. big and responsible
People like to be in control of their environment. They use Design as a way to feel under control. It’s an emotional, unconscious reaction. After all, the designed products help us to live our modern life with ease and practicality. We do more, travel further, make more connections in the world and run more efficient business.
People like to use a Design in an unconventional way: they hack it, modify it, even finish it. You can say a lot about people’s need to control their environment and their own thought processes when studying Graffiti and Street art.
Any culture with stationary public structures has a form of it. It is the same basic principle that explains my transition from Paper to my Smartphone: if we feel more under control, we will gradually have more control.
3. image and design
It’s about the Image, not the product. You buy a fancy water bottle for the bottle, not for the water. Just recently, I no longer kept my to-do lists in a notebook, but on my phone. Why did I do this? Is my phone a better way to keep to-do lists? Am I really becoming more efficient? Well, yes and no. I’m starting to travel more for work and I need to keep my luggage as light as possible. So anything I can get rid of, like bulky notepads, is an advantage.
But even a well-designed timing app on my phone makes me feel like I’m taking on more responsibility – I actually feel like I’m doing more now than I did in the past. And the awesome thing is that the more I believe in this, the more it comes true. If we give in to the tendency of our brain to fantasize, the fantasy will eventually become real, if possible.
4. trend mentality
There are people waiting in line for two days to get the recent Gadget From Apple. They are there for the quality label of owning a new device, not for the device itself. There’s nothing wrong with your old iPhone – you just need to have the new one because you need to feel up to date.
This may indicate a larger problem, such as low self-esteem, or it may be that the advertising industry knows exactly how to press our buttons and make us feel that we must “have” this new element.
5. Crowd Rule
People care a lot about what other people think of them. They classify themselves in different design cultures, because that is what is culturally expected of them. Even people who say they don’t care about Design do it very consciously. It takes a certain faith to detach yourself from Design, just as it does to accept Design. People usually don’t like to admit that Design affects their habits and lifestyles so much, but it’s still 100% true. This is very important “secret” information that designers should keep in mind at all times.