Monday, November 27, 2006

Multidisciplinary view on consumer models

After listening to Sherry Turkle's presentation, we headed quickly towards the Wallenberg hall at Stanford University in which we gave a presentation on the Kulta project, funded by Tekes and collaborators. The title of the presentation was "Multidisciplinary view of consumer models: Hobbyism and playful strategies meet adaptive models". The objective of our project is to develop models and methods that can be used in understanding, conceptualizing and anticipating the changing needs of consumers. Our study takes a constructivist perspective: we study how meanings are constructed in the practical and interactive use of models.

Tanja Kotro was presenting the point of view of hobbyism based on her dissertation. Hobbyism refers to employees’ passion for a hobby (for instance sports) and communities related to the hobby as an important reference for the product development team members for understanding users.

Sari Stenfors' presentation was based on her research on
playful strategies. Most strategy tools are namely used to improve organizational efficiency and only some are used to explore and innovate. Both tools that support efficiency and toys that improve creativity are needed in organization’s tool-box to maintain sustainability.

Timo Honkela was considering how computational tools and methods could support analytical, reflective and creative processes in organizations. The constructivist perspective emphasizes the need to have open ended tools in which some predefined frameworks do not determine the results. In order to deal with change, the models need to be adaptive: they alter themselves as new information on the consumers and related phenomena is available.

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