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Three Things You Can Learn from Optical Illusions in less than Three Minutes

Three Things You Can Learn from Optical Illusions in less than Three Minutes

by Annie Lai

Posted on 13 June 2016

November 3, 2012 by startupengineering .

Why is the old lady looking down? [Image]

Lesson 1: Unprompted, people viewing this image divide fairly evenly between those who see an old lady looking down, and those who see a young woman looking away. But mentioning the old lady in the question dramatically skews the results.

When you’re trying to discover customers, avoid asking questions that predispose the customer to a certain answer.

[image life outdoors]

Where are these people sitting?

Lesson 2: This was a test done by Robert Laws, a doctor who ran a Scottish mission in what is now Malawi during the 1800s. In general, Westerners see a family sitting in a room, with the corner in the background and a window looking on to some vegetation. But when Laws showed East Africans the picture, they saw a family group sitting outside, with a tree in the background and a box or basket sitting on one woman’s head.

You imagine you know your product, but a customer might know something completely different. You could be Starbucks selling coffee, while your customers are buying a warm indoor social space to hang out, that happens to serve coffee.

[image throwing] What’s the difference between market demand and product?

Lesson 3: Nothing. What your customer needs, and the way she needs it presented, are the exact mirror-image of the product you need to build.