Andrew Harder - “Emerging Market Research”


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  • I am not representing Nokia hereI'm going to be talking about what I've learned in my experience of working for Nokia, helping make products like this. Naturally, my views are mine not Nokia'sI have gotten only the most cursory of approvals for this talk so please don't get me into trouble if I stumble 
  • I need to position my objectives in this talk. This is my objective in my career as a Design ResearcherDrawing on research and anthropology; design and for this talk – importantly the commercial concerns of Product Making.
  • To use here in London? Well, let's look at the commercial lens first
  • GrowthThere very rapid growth in those countries, at a sustainably higher rate than developed marketsWhat this means is that if you're 50 or 60 in these countries, then you have seen a radical increase in the standard of living in your lifetimeAnd this has profound effects on what you're looking for
  • Growth
  • Rapid improvement in infrastructure makes new opportunities possible, Transport improvements like train, plane and roadAlso digital infrastructure like mobile data and home broadband
  • Tata NanoIncredibly cheap car aimed at motorcycle drivers who are transporting their family on their motorbikeIt is being launched in Europe later this yearPerfect example of a disruptive technology – this is the easyJet of the car industryChinese manufacturers + android
  • Working in emerging markets is challenging and tough. Understanding people from other cultures and trying to make desirable products for them is like the high-wire act of our fieldWhen I started it felt like the big league, the toughest challenge for a design researcherand it IS a lot of fun if your'e turned on by understanding people because there is more to understandBut it isn't just this appeal of a challenge
  • Emerging markets give us new needs to discoverAnd because we haven't grown up with them, they feel fresh and excitingSo for designers, it can be a real attraction, to solve other cultures' needsDesign councilThere are countless definitions of design, as you might expect of a creative endeavour. Some aim to categorise design, to explain how it is different from or related to other activities, while others try to inspire good design.Here’s a simple definition from our former Chairman, Sir George Cox in the Cox Review:Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers. Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end.’ The Cox ReviewMost of the results of design are visible, and that lends itself to another simple definition: ‘Design is all around you, everything man-made has been designed, whether consciously or not’.
  • And of course, it isn't just finding new needs that matterThe Design Council gets at the heart of the project of design as a way of making the world betterAnd there is a lot of traction in the idea of making emerging markets a better place
  • And just one example is openIDEO where sponsors nominate a problem and then crowdsource a projectThis isn't solely focused on emerging market needs, but it is a common themeSo this is designers all over the world giving their time for free, you know it's important
  • So this mission of design to make the world a better place is important and central
  • This is where my training as an anthropologist kicks in. Anthropology has a long and dark history of this. Anthropologists created a lot of theories that as a field we are now ashamed ofWhen I did my really brief formal training in anthropology, learning about the sins of the past was part of the processAnd having been in the field with people who haven't had that exposure, I can now see the point. There are some incorrect assumptions that people make when they encounter other culturesSo I want to use this small diversion into Colonial history to illustrate what those assumptions are, and why they're important
  • Anthropology originated as the study of mankind, and as it emerged in the Victorian colonial era, it was put to work on the concerns of the day – the colonial possessions and how best to govern them. Broadly speaking, how could the Colonial office manage its dependencies abroadThere were two purposes in the colonial era: To make money for the empire, and to civilise the uncivilised. The English colonial era peaked with Queen Victoria, and if you look at the memorial to her consort Prince Albert, there is a great colonial readingYou can't quite see here but Albert is in the middle, the glowing kingThe next row indicate Agriculture, Commerce, Engineering and ManufacturingThe last row of statues are the colonial dependencies, Africa, Asia, America and Europe. So the resources and the means of control and profit-making
  • We can see the colonial preoccupations in the advertising of the timeThis is East African transport – old stylewho wants to take a guess at what the new style is?
  • Yes, well it involves a white dude standing around looking noble it seems. This illustrates the central point of Empire. That the reason for being was to make money and prestige for BritainBut that it quickly needed to legitimise itself by making visible improvements
  • Let me read to you from this book. The conviction of Empire was increasingly reinforced by a sense of duty, and became heavily veneered with religiosity. The Victorians were believers. They believe in their Christian Master, in their providential destiny, in their servants of steam and steel, in themselves and their systems, and not least in their Empire. As the mysteries of life were unfolded to them, explicitly in the triumphs of applied science, opaquely in intellectual conception like the Survival of the Fittest, so their one particular place in the divine scheme seemed ever more specific: they were called to be the great improvers.
  • We read of natives awaiting redemption, of Christianity's guiding beacon. The Indian territories were allotted by providence to Great Britain, wrote Charles Grant "that we might diffuse among their inhabitants, long sunk in darkness, vice and misery, the light and benign influence of the truth, the blessings of well-regulated society"
  • Let's take one exampleThere was a debate in the 1800s about whether Homo Sapiens was one species or multiple. Ernst Haeckel was a typical thinker for his time. He believe that humans were multiple species that could be sub-divided further into races. Haeckel divided human beings into ten races, of which the Caucasian was the highest and the primitives were doomed to extinction. This was a common conception, the ordering of racesDarwin is here to show that it wasn't just crackpots or marginals. While he believed that there was only one species of Homo Sapiens – bit of a liberal now we might think – he still contrasted "civilised races" and "savage races" These are horrible ideas, but they are also from men of their time, and from people who applied the rational enlightenment process that we now lionise. What was wrong? There is a fundamental difference between us and themI am superior because I have more things and better mannersI can judge them according to my standardsThey need my help
  • We read of natives awaiting redemption, of Christianity's guiding beacon. The Indian territories were allotted by providence to Great Britain, wrote Charles Grant "that we might diffuse among their inhabitants, long sunk in darkness, vice and misery, the light and benign influence of the truth, the blessings of well-regulated society"
  • This is the natural point where we point out that people of all circumstances and races do just fine.
  • It's about the assumptions and stereotypes that come along to the field with usIt's about how we can challenge ourselves to see things more clearlyAnd by clearly I mean, as our
  • This means we have to have a process to find the baggage that we have brought to the field, become aware of it, and then not let it get in the way of our data.
  • This is your only source of authority when you're in the fieldThis is not about being a blank sheet of paper, it is about owning your cultural background and the assumptions that it has given youWe have to listen for our assumptions, then expose them to ourselves and see what we make of it
  • I could entertain us with examples of terrible Victorian prejudice all day longBut I return to my objectives, which is to make commercial productsSo, of the colonial errors, let's explore one first. "I can see what they need"
  • Surrogate for a lot of internal concepts that I have seenSo, this was designed as a concept for marketing purposes reallyBut even in commercial organisations, this is very representative of the starting point
  • I want to talk about how we got to different places
  • We can pinpoint a culture, it is stable and apparent. And if things look less developed, then their world is less developedWe look at their state of economic development then project them backwards to our culture's stage of development, then assume they have to go through the same process as us. And importantly, a culture is what is different to what is at homeSo this becomes our main point of analysis – just jotting down the differences
  • Modern life lives alongside traditions. Our faith in astrology does not decrease because of the rising levels of scientific education, we move effortless to computerised horoscopesPeople eagerly adopt new technology where it suits their lives
  • Or putting things another way
  • Lack ability to readLack safe environments and ability to replace phonesLack ability to understand complex thingsLack confidence to try new thingsAll of these needs are very low level needs.
  • If we look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they all seem to be safety needsThis implies that we don't think the higher order needs are important for productsIn particular, Chip Heath argues that a basic mistake when designing products for other people is that we assume OTHER people are interested in basic needs, whereas WE are interested in the higher order needsLet's look at two examples
  • TheTato Nano is an insanely cheap carIt has radical concessions to price like no AC, no radio, no seatbelts - sizeBut from a styling point of view, it makes absolutely no concessions to its cheapnessFrom the look of it, it lacks for nothing! The detailing is as well designed as any other carJust because you're buying a cheap car, doesn't meant that you want to look cheap tooSo if you're in the market for the cheapest car ever invented, why do you care if you look cheap?
  • Rich and poor live alongside each otherRapid growth means that if you're 50, then you have seen an incredible increase in the wealth of the country around you. You are the exotic one, who's been dropped into the foreign situation. They're at home. Emerging Market Consumers know what good products are, they know what the best Western brands areWhy should they want anything less for themselves? Modern aspirations and dreams are ever present. Rich guys get to buy phones without big dials, why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't I get precious things? There is a pleasure in buying things that reflect how you WANT your life to be, rather than how a westerner thinks it is.
  • An Indian logic, since having a car or a refrigerator was such a visible sign of status and indulgence, why bother with an expensive brand of shampoo? Market that has more colour televisions than toilets
  • Doenjang girl. Doenjangjjigae is a really cheap soybean paste stew, when you could eat more expensive foods that have meat in them it represents a real frugality. Doenjang girls are so called because they scrimp and save on essentials in private, so that they can afford to splurge on luxuries in public – the classic example is a Starbucks latte. Psy parodies this style of living in Gangnam styleIn emerging markets, aspiration is really important. You need visible signs of status and indulgence. An Indian logic, since having a car or a refrigerator was such a visible sign of status and indulgence, why bother with an expensive brand of shampoo? Market that has more colour televisions than toilets
  • Which styling would you prefer? The one that looks a tiny bit like a lambourghini? Or the one that refers to a retro styling
  • An important qualification90% of rural indian households are headed by a self-employed person – fast adopters of any productivity tool that can help them earn more, such as cell phones and motorcycles
  • Your parents buy the most expensive TV because they want the best one, and that they then go to classes run by Samsung to learn how to use it. This is because they want their TV to be the best, and that they can adapt to it. In part driven by the radical increase in the standards of living they have seen in the 60(?) years - so it is natural for them to want technology that is bigger than their current needs, because it will expand their world and help them keep up with modern life. As you said, since they experienced radical develpment in the short period, they weigh the potential (what they 'can' do) than the actual use (that they do). It also makes them feel they are advanced over others. They seems to talk often about what they can do with smart phone to their friends. When they heard something they didn't know, they asked my sis to teach. More than 10 years ago, I volunteered teaching internet to the old ( 60+ year old). The program title was 'silver net' run by governmnt. The most participants were already retired. I.e. they didn't need to use Internet for work. When I asked why they wanted to learn Internet, the answer was quite interesting. They paid monthly fee for internet for their children or grand children to use. (At that time, most household had high-speed internet subscription) Their kids used internet only couple of hours per day in the evening back from work/school. They thought they didn't fully utilise the resource given, decided to learn it so that they could use the internet even in daytime. We taught web browsing and email. The most grannies ended up with online card game.
  • This has really serious challenges for Westerners designing for Emerging MarketsThis is a radically different product value that is hard for western-trained designers to understand
  • An important qualification
  • So let's revisit the big picture nowI've addressed the idea that emerging market users are lacking something, and that we know what they want. I want to now move on to address another main thread of the colonial assumptions. That we can judge them by our standards, or alternaitvely that they are so different to us.
  • The magical, mystical others. We can't understand them. And admittedly, when you're interviewing anyone from a foreign culture it can be very strange
  • Texts, email, call log, voicemailPicturesYour phone is you on FacebookNew phones are a talking pointUsers lend phones for games, internetFlashing lights like notifications draw users attention subconsciously
  • Texts, email, call log, voicemailPicturesYour phone is you on FacebookNew phones are a talking pointUsers lend phones for games, internetFlashing lights like notifications draw users attention subconsciouslyThis then opens up new topics
  • So I want to give you two practical questions to during researchWhat do we expect to find when we go? This is important to begin setting out your expectations
  • An important qualification
  • Andrew Harder - “Emerging Market Research”

    1. 1. Design Research for Emerging MarketsAndrew Harder @thevagrant
    2. 2. Me
    3. 3. Relevant, Beautiful and Successful
    4. 4. Why do emerging markets matter?
    5. 5. Growth GDP growth per capita, 1991 – 2011. Source: World Bank via
    6. 6. New consumers Rama Bijapurkar
    7. 7. Enormousinfrastructureimprovements
    8. 8. Perfect conditions for disruptiveinnovations
    9. 9. Why do emerging markets matter? Design is the translation of social need Kat Gough
    10. 10. Why do emerging markets matter? The question therefore isnt so much what is design and why does it matter? but how can I use good design to make the world around me better? The Design Council
    11. 11. Why do emerging markets matter? The question therefore isnt so much what is design and why does it matter? but how can I use good design to make the world around me better? The Design Council
    12. 12. The improving mentality
    13. 13. The Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens
    14. 14. Source: Empire Marketing Board
    15. 15. Source: Empire Marketing Board
    16. 16. "The Great Improvers"Source: Empire Marketing Board
    17. 17. Charles Darwin Ernst Haeckel
    18. 18. "The Great Improvers" Colonial errors: There is a fundamental difference between us and them I have more things and better morals, so I am superior I can judge them according to my standards I can see what they need They need our help
    19. 19. Its not about them. Its about us.
    20. 20. As researchers, our mission is tosee the world as our participants seeit
    21. 21. Core of Anthropology: Reflexivity
    22. 22. Relevant, Beautiful and Successful
    23. 23. Research notes1. Text-based UIs are not suitable for illiterate users2. Abstract metaphors like envelope for SMS are unsuitable3. Instead, physical interface elements like dials, exaggerated buttons and information gauges are familiar4. Mechanical world metaphors are more intuitive in this context5. Most technology in rural India separates controls from information6. Reselling and repair is common7. Vast majority of phones features are untouched by non-
    24. 24. Creative Direction - SteampunkSteampunk reflects the design and craftsmanship of theVictorian eraRemove the aesthetic of "preciousness" to invitetinkering and exploration
    25. 25. Me
    26. 26. Fallacy 1: Cultures are frozen at apoint in time
    27. 27. 1: The world plays out in real time
    28. 28. Fallacy 2: They need basic products
    29. 29. Fallacy 2: Their needs are defined bywhat they lack
    30. 30. What is needed?Ways to manage illiteracyHelp repairing and maintaining devicesSimple featuresTechnology that feels appropriate and familiar
    31. 31. We live in multiple cultures
    32. 32. 2: Its cool to be cool
    33. 33. 2: Self-esteem is a very powerfulemotion
    34. 34. Aspiration: Not dreaming, doing.
    35. 35. Fallacy 3: Usability is universallyimportant
    36. 36. Buying for power, not comfort
    37. 37. 3: In a rapidly changingsociety, keeping up-to-date isimportant
    38. 38. Your users want to besmarter, sexier and richer.Help them.
    39. 39. "The Great Improvers"Source: Empire Marketing Board
    40. 40. Fallacy 4: They arent rational
    41. 41. "I am worried about theenvironment. So I take my 4WD off-roading in Tibet to enjoy theenvironment before it is ruined."
    42. 42. I don’t like the preview of atext message. I don’t want people knowing what messages I get Do you put a password on your phone?Of course not, I don’t want people thinking I have something to hide
    43. 43. 4: Explain novel behaviour asrational response to a differentenvironment
    44. 44. 4: Treat contradictions as yourfailure to understand the situation
    45. 45. Central contradiction in privacyPhones are private Phones are socialobjects objects
    46. 46. Porous privacyHelp me avoid I basically trust myembarrassment friends
    47. 47. Research toolkit for reflexivityWhat do we expect to find when we go?What does this person want from their phone thatyou dont want from your phone?
    48. 48. See your actions in historicalperspectiveUse reflexive tools
    49. 49. Thank youAndrew Harder @thevagrant