17 September 2006

ZIBA Design’s search for the soul of the Chinese consumer

Be the first to share

Ziba Design on China
The “Inside Innovation” supplement of the current issue of Business Week features a lengthy article on Ziba Design‘s the ethnographic user research for Lenovo, China’s biggest computer company. The story goes into quite some depth on the methods and tools used.

The research won a 2006 gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

“Lenovo asked us to help them define product opportunities for their consumer divisions in desktop, notebook, and cellular so they could better compete on meaning and value. We needed to create an approach that captured the soul of the Chinese consumer and inspired Lenovo’s design teams. We needed to create new research tools to find out which design elements have meaning and value for specific groups of Chinese consumers. We provided Lenovo with a 36-month strategic product plan for each of its three consumer technology platforms. Because we were building a strategy, our design research had to create targets for idea generation and concept refinement.”

“To create product experiences that connect with China’s consumers, the team needed to understand three cultures: China, users, and products. To build these connections, the team developed an approach called “Search for the Soul,” which integrates immersive experience (live-the-life), rapid ethnography, and method acting to uncover latent needs and wants.” […]

Based on the research, the team identified “the aspirations, behaviors, and needs of distinct clusters [of users]. These clusters became known as ‘technology tribes’. The five technology tribes identified were: Social Butterflies, Relationship Builders, Upward Maximizers, Deep Immersers, and Conspicuous Collectors. Each of these groups has vastly different needs, ranging from the need to connect to a broad social network (Social Butterflies) to the desire to seek escape through fantasy and immersion (Deep Immersers).”

These profiles drove concept generation, allowed for “a clear understanding of who Lenovo’s target consumers ought to be (four primary tech tribes: Social Butterflies, Relationship Builders, Upward Maximizers, and Deep Immersers) and laid the groundwork to create product-line strategies for Lenovo’s desktop, notebook, and cellular platforms.

In conclusion:

“The definition of rich, psychographic tribes gave Lenovo’s senior management and marketing teams a common language and a common vision of the future. Our research gave them a defined segment map (based on behavior, attitudes, and values) to guide the development of appropriate products for target consumers. Future product lines are now organized around the needs of specific “tech tribes.” Our research gave Lenovo an understanding of Western approaches to creativity and markets. Within months of the completion of this project in 2005, Lenovo cemented its commitment to high-value design by acquiring IBM’s PC (ThinkPad) business unit.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
18 October 2017
Innovate through service design – The Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo and Experientia for “Torino Design of the City”
by Erin O'Loughlin - Photos: Naz Kazazoglu In Turin, you only need to tell your taxi driver "Take me to the skyscraper" to end up at the impressive Innovation Center of the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, rising …
1 October 2017
Half-day event on service design innovation in Turin
(This page will be regularly updated to reflect minor programme changes) To Innovate through Service Design - Conference for Torino Design of the City From 10 to 16 October, the City of Turin will host Torino Design of …
1 October 2017
Building the networked city from the ground up with citizens
How can technology lead to more participation in democratic processes? Who should own and control city data? Can cities embrace a model that socializes data and encourages new forms of cooperativism and democratic innovation? Albert …
1 October 2017
Google’s Director of User Experience on the power of ethnography in an era of Big Data
Elizabeth Churchill, Google's Director of User Experience argues that there has never been a better time for an ethnographic embrace and a reconfiguration of what it means to render meaning into big and small data. …
10 September 2017
[Book] Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age
Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age: High School, High Tech? By Neil Selwyn, Selena Nemorin, Scott Bulfin, Nicola F. Johnson Routledge 2018 – 224 pages [Amazon link] Today’s high schools are increasingly based around the use of digital technologies. Students …
3 September 2017
[Book] Think like an anthropologist
Think Like An Anthropologist by Matthew Engelke Pelican, August 2017, 339 pages [Start reading - Amazon link] How does anthropology help us understand who we are? What can it tell us about culture, from Melanesia to the City of London? Why …
29 August 2017
Self-driving cars need human intuition
"If self-driving cars are going to achieve their promise as a revolution in urban transportation—delivering reduced emissions, better mobility, and safer streets—they will have to exist on a level playing field with the humans who …
25 August 2017
Design Thinking is bullshit
Here is Pentagram partner and designer Natasha Jen's definition of design thinking: Design thinking packages a designer's way of working for a non-designer audience by codifying their processes into a prescriptive, step-by-step approach to creative problem …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 October 2017
Innovate through service design – The Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo and Experientia for “Torino Design of the City”

by Erin O’Loughlin – Photos: Naz Kazazoglu In Turin, you only need to tell your taxi driver “Take me to the skyscraper” to end up at the impressive Innovation Center of the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, rising in the heart of Turin, with a fine view of the Turin hills and the Italian alps. Here on […]

17 October 2017
Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize is a win for good design

by Erin O’Loughlin Richard Thaler’s 2017 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday was met with more buzz around the offices of our design agency than is usual for economics news. What people outside of the industry probably don’t realize is that service designers don’t think of Richard Thaler as an economist — instead, we consider him one of […]

3 October 2017
Don’t miss Experientia at Torino Design of the City

Torino Design of the City is nearly here! Experientia will of course be part of this exciting week (10-16 October) of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design, and we warmly invite you to join us. The event is organised by the City of Turin and will take place in strategic city locations […]

1 October 2017
Half-day event on service design innovation in Turin

(This page will be regularly updated to reflect minor programme changes) To Innovate through Service Design – Conference for Torino Design of the City From 10 to 16 October, the City of Turin will host Torino Design of the City. This week of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design will take place in […]

4 August 2017
The human side of autonomous cars — with Nissan Research’s Melissa Cefkin

Reposted from Medium Beyond the engineering challenge of creating cars that drive themselves lies the social challenge. Before autonomous cars are ready to navigate our roads, they must be able to navigate the vastly more complicated nuances of human behaviors and interactions — from that friendly nod that says “You first” at a four-way stop, to the […]

31 May 2017
 Intervista a Todd Harple di Intel sul tech-fashion

Ripostato da Medium – English version Il mondo del fashion sta diventando sempre di più digitale — e non si tratta solo di dispositivi da indossare, ma anche e soprattutto di abbigliamento, realizzato con tessuti in cui sono effettivamente integrati dei sensori in grado di misurare e monitorare il corpo di chi li veste. Dato che la […]

See all articles