For many years, western companies looking for new users and new revenues have been attracted to the large populations and higher growth of emerging markets like India and China. Digital startups like Spotify and Net-A-Porter are the most recent arrivals on new shores. But product managers often find that importing their offerings as-is leads to rejection by emerging market consumers, and find that their attempts to make new products are not taken up by local consumers. How can we make products and services that are appealing to these new user groups?
In this talk I take a deep-dive into developing customised products for emerging market users, and reflect on the unique challenges that westerners face when we try to understand and design in this domain. When westerners design for emerging market users, we can be blind to what our users really want and instead offer what we want them to have; we can assume they live in cultural isolation and that they need help understanding complicated technology. I challenge these myths and illustrate alternative design approaches looking at successful products like the Tata Nano.
And all this through a talk that covers Darwin, Psy, Bollywood, Adaptive Path, the British Empire and the cost of a data connection in Bangalore costs. Researchers and designers will walk away with challenged and empowered to think and create differently for emerging market users as well as users at home.