Talk about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
The bright folks at MIT’s AgeLab have developed an outfit that can transform anyone into a 70-year-old. Except, presumably, an 80-year-old. Meet AGNES: the Age Gain Now Empathy System. Put it on, and you experience the aches, stiffness, and limited mobility that many seniors live with every day.
For an engineer, a product designer, an architect, or anyone else who makes decisions that impact how other people interface with the world, it must be an eye-opening experience to put this suit on. After all, too often we design things with ourselves in mind rather than the end user.
Of course, AGNES represents a very literal approach to understanding a specific demographic, because it’s focused only on physical attributes. When we’re dealing with brands, there’s physical, cognitive, and emotional elements to consider.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The more you get to know your customer, and the more you understand how they approach your brand and products (and the world in general), the more effective you can be in designing new products.
Think about your customers, your prospects, your employees… how would you tailor an AGNES suit?