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Design for Needs

Design for Needs

Many designers do straightforward design without considering some fundamental needs, here are some human needs which would be good to know in order to make good designs that respond to them.

People spend money in order to satisfy their desires and needs, but not all needs are worth spending money on. A designer has to know why people spend money in order to be able to design products and services that satisfy major desires. The following list is not based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; it is instead based on marketing and economics. I sincerely think, that knowing this list by heart could improve your skills as a designer, manager or design manager. Here is the golden list of needs, and type of companies that respond to them:
To attract romantic partners; everyone needs at least one. This economic desire category is special since there is no commercial supplier, but facilitators; products and services that make you appealing to others, or products or services that let you discover or connect to prospective partners. Since everyone absolutely needs at least one romantic partner, there is a huge demand worldwide, and there are many companies tap into this need to sell and market their products; luxury products, cosmetics producers, fashion, online friendship sites, social networks etc.
To avoid trouble, legal or physical. There is direct supply to match these needs such as clothing, protective clothing, bodyguards, legal advisers etc. Governments also exists for this purpose; to provide protection and safety. Insurance companies also tap into this desire category to find clients who wish to be relax during trouble, let it be legal or physical. Hospitals, health check-up services are some other businesses that respond to this need.
To be an individual. It is a need for many, and there are abundant companies who provide products and services to respond to this need. There is education, schools, private lessons, music and art classes, plus there are clubs, hobbies, travel destinations, and many other services that indirectly supply individuality to consumers. Even retreats, mountain rides or anything else is a supply to this demand.
Design for Needs
To be clean, to feel comfortable. Need for all, supply comes from governments – public infrastructure; water pipes, electricity, heating, as well as private companies; cosmetic and cleaning products, as well as pharmaceutical companies; disinfectants etc. Plus there are small scale services for bathing, cleaning, including spas and others.
To be in style, to look good, to look cool. This is a need for most, and the demand is responded by supply from fashion item producers, luxury manufacturers of yachts, spaceships, planes, cars, bicycles, cars as well as cosmetic items, fashion channels and fashion related communication media, plus education or personal charisma providing tools, services and products. Supply also comes from nature as well as commercial entities.
To be loved, to be desired, to be praised. Families are the biggest service provider for this need category followed by lovers, friends, colleagues, coworkers and others. Supply is usually natural but could also be provided synthetically by commercial entities in form of emulation of love, desire or provision of praise. Many companies tap into this category by proposing products or services that would make you lovelier, desirable or prestigious, the economy for this category is larger than you could imagine.
To be popular, to have prestige and to avoid criticism, to avoid loss of reputation. Slightly different from being loved or desired, the popularity and prestige are supplied both naturally as well as commercially, popularity can be earned or bought, criticism can be avoided or avoiding criticism can be bought, votes can be earned or votes can be bought. Supply comes from people, as well as people groups, associations and other communities.
To emulate or copy others. An interesting need indeed, I estimate almost everyone needs it except a small percentile; this need arises from the basic fact that not everyone has will to decide for itself, some wish to follow, copy, imitate as doing so is indeed easier. Being streamlined ensures that you comply with society, compliance usually results in acceptance, social welcoming. Service providers include governments through education, politics, but also commercial entities; fashion, trendy products etc.
Design for Needs
To get pleasure, to experience pleasure. Who doesn't want to get pleasure? Everyone does, yet the way people want it can differ a lot, consider hedonism, sadism, masochism, and others. Regardless of the type, there has always been a service provider either commercially or naturally. Good food, intimacy, amusement, action are some products that respond to this need.
To gratify curiosity. Another very interesting need for which the demand is inversely proportional to the age; the older you are the less curios; kids are known to be the most curios. To respond to this need we have science, education, exploration, and experience industries. How does it taste? Take a wine tasting experience. How does it look like? Travel to Paris. How does it feel (make feel)? Buy it, try it. Search engines and internet for example are products that help satisfy this need.
To have beautiful possessions, and to keep the possessions. This is where designers come into play, together with craftsman, artists, stylists, artisans, architects etc. Everyone wants to have possessions that are good looking, pleasant and aesthetically appealing (and some people want to ensure that also others find that thing pleasant and appealing). Supply comes from designers, creators, crafters as well as insurance companies, banks, housing development, security companies and governments.
To have health, to be fit, to avoid pain. Universal demand; i.e. not demanding this results in your death, and in this case, all who exist should potentially need this. Supply comes from fitness products, healthcare systems, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, travel agencies, psychologists and other personal assistants and help as well as from nature. Very big industry worldwide with many companies tapping to this basic need.
To make money, to earn money and to avoid loss of money. The biggest industry of all, since all other needs require money; money is life, time or resources. I estimate that most money is actually being spend for earning money itself. Main suppliers for this need; the trade, bartering, ability to sell or buy, ability to advertise, ability to market, ability to produce, ability to distribute, ability to serve, investment opportunities, banks, gambling, as well as governments and security.
Design for Needs
To satisfy an appetite, for food, knowledge or something else. Let it be a small urge or some gluttonous craving, there are times that when we want “it”. In this case the supply is met by nature, as well as commercial entities. Demand is matched by the supply from sellers and service providers of the “it”. However, there are specific jobs that relate to this; cooks, detectives, dealers, exporters, importers, concierge etc., as well as massive marketplaces and internet where any type of product could be bought.
To save time, to be efficient. People say money is time, time is money, but time is life; your own life, therefore money is life; your life turned into something else. To save time, means to save lives, to save lives you need money. Everyone wants to live longer, thus everyone has a demand for “faster”. The supply comes in all industries with a premium for the “fast” service, “instant” delivery, and “buy now” options.
To take advantage of opportunities. Bulk offers, coupons, campaigns, discounts, free shipping, get the last one, save on money, save on time etc. are products designed to satisfy this need to take advantage of opportunities. Supply comes from merchants, sellers, dealers but even from friends and family; in return of promises, or other actions, as well as nature; seasons for example; time to eat a specific fruit! Eat it while the offer lasts!
To take care of others, for their family and friends. People want to be nice, so there are products and services to help them look and be nice; products that help you save time so you could spend more with your family, products that enable you to perform tasks that would make people around you happy, gift cards, but also spending personal time, as well as taking care through healthcare, finance, or via entertainment.
The needs: 1) To achieve comfort, to enjoy life. 2) To attract romantic partners. 3) To avoid trouble, legal or physical. 4) To be an individual. 5) To be clean, to feel comfortable. 6) To be in style, to look good, to look cool. 7) To be loved, to be desired, to be praised. 8) To be popular, to have prestige and to avoid criticism, to avoid loss of reputation. 9) To emulate others. 10) To get pleasure, to experience pleasure. 11) To gratify curiosity. 12) To have beautiful possessions, and to keep the possessions. 13) To have health, to be fit, to avoid pain. 14) To make money, to earn money and to avoid loss of money. 15) To satisfy an appetite, for food, knowledge or something else. 16) To save time, to be efficient. 17) To take advantage of opportunities. 18) To take care of others, for their family and friends.
Design for Needs
So how does this list benefit you as a designer? When you design a product or service, you must consider how your design responds to every single of these needs. You will realize that just designing a product is not enough; it should be matched with a service as well as a system and other complimentary products or services to make it worth more. I think satisfying these basic needs could help creation of product-services that create the highest value, thus would have the highest demand.

This article was added on Thursday, 6th of November, 2014 at 05.02 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: needs of people, design for need, need based design, design demand, design supply. Read our copyright policy here.


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