29 June 2006

Lenovo’s search for the soul of the Chinese customer

Be the first to share

Digital living
Introducing the winners of the 2006 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEAs), Bruce Nussbaum writes in Business Week: “Managers everywhere are turning to rapid ethnography, usability, special materials, and aesthetics—the tools of design—to innovate.”

He then goes on to discuss the ethnographic research done by Lenovo:

“Take Lenovo. It won a gold for its Opti Desktop PC, designed for tech-centric gamers in China. Perhaps more important, it also won a gold for the design research it did for the Opti with ZIBA Design, based in Portland, Ore. That research, dubbed ‘Search for the Soul’ of the Chinese customer, helped Lenovo move beyond competing on price, where it was being hit hard by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM in China. Lenovo and ZIBA delved deeply into Chinese consumer culture to ‘find out which design elements have meaning and value for specific groups of Chinese consumers,’ according to the idea entry form.”

“ZIBA and Lenovo spent months immersed in Chinese music, history, and objects of desire, such as cell phones, observing families as they lived, worked, and played. In the end, they identified ‘five technology tribes’ in China: Social Butterflies, Relationship Builders, Upward Maximizers, Deep Immersers, and Conspicuous Collectors, each with different needs. The Opti was designed with shapes and colors for Chinese Deep Immersers who seek escape through immersing themselves in games online.”

“Juror Don Norman (author of Emotional Design and The Design of Everyday Things) said: ‘At first the judges said ‘yuck’ to the design but then changed their minds when the research showed the Chinese didn’t want our sleek U.S. design but their own from their own culture.'”

Read full story

Be the first to share
31 July 2015
[Book] Excited to announce the new book by John Thackara
How to thrive in the next economy by John Thackara Thames & Hudson August 2015, 192pp Abstract Drawing on a lifetime of travel in search of real-world alternatives that work, I describe how communities the world over are creating a …
27 July 2015
New qualitative research on video consumption by UK youth
TV viewing (live, playback and Broadcaster VOD services) dominates the video viewing of all ages; however 16-24s have a more varied video diet, with TV accounting for two thirds of their total video viewing compared …
27 July 2015
Breaking Free from The Lean Startup religion: The Service Designer Manifesto
Breaking Free from The Lean Startup religion: The Service Designer Manifesto by Tenny Pinheiro Eise Books July 21, 2015 - 52 pages Free on Kindle Abstract Our civilization is facing complex, systemic and scary wicked problems. It is already known that …
22 July 2015
How ethnographic research helped transform a US paint company
Almost all business leaders now acknowledge that they would love to engage in the deep learning that long-term customer observation can foster, but in practice such endeavors are methodically undermined in the fast paced corporate …
22 July 2015
The student experience and the future of the library
Libraries have moved from being the location for search, access and advice to playing a much smaller role within a much larger information landscape, writes a researcher of JISC, the UK charity that champion the …
18 July 2015
Why does Tinder work? A biological anthropologist explains…
Users of the dating app assess potential partners in much the same way as neanderthals did, according to anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University. "Tinder is nothing new," says Fisher. "It’s just …
18 July 2015
LSE anthropologist: microcredit only adds to poverty
Far from being a panacea, small loans add to poverty and undermine people by saddling them with unsustainable debt, argues anthropologist Dr. Jason Hickel of the London School of Economics: What’s so fascinating about the microfinance …
18 July 2015
An anthropologist on the Photoshop team
Almost two years ago, the Photoshop team pivoted to focus its energies and resources on design features and workflows. To be successful, the team needed to understand trends in design and tools, as well as …

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.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles