Patrick W. Jordan: It's all about understanding people!
Patrick W. Jordan helps multi-national companies design great products that people love. At Business to Buttons, he will let you in on the framework behind the success. I got to meet him in advance to get a sense of his work.
Patrick has worked with many of the world’s most famous companies. Nokia, Ferrari, Gillette, Samsung, Starbucks, Philips, Microsoft, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Apple, Electrolux, Unilever... the list is endless. But what does he actually do? I met him to find out.
You have worked in many different projects. Is there a common key to success?
- Whether the project is about design, marketing or new product development, the key to success is being people-centered and understanding people. The better we understand people, the better we can meet their needs; and the better we meet their needs the greater the chance of success.
Any favourite project?
- It is difficult to select any particular one but I have to admit though that I do have a special affection for Starbucks as they were my first ever client and are very nice people. I feel guilty if I buy a coffee anywhere else!
I read that you have a PhD in Psychology. How does it help you design and brand products?
- Again, it is about understanding people. Effective design and branding requires a deep understanding of those that you are trying to reach and connect with. As a discipline which is dedicated to understanding people, psychology has a lot to contribute here as do the other social sciences.
Can you give an example of a project that you found extra challenging?
Perhaps the most challenging projects in this respect are the large public projects where you are trying to design a service which will be usable for a wide variety of people – all with different characteristics, needs, priorities and values. The projects with the UK education department and the health service are examples of this.
What will you talk about at Business to Buttons?
I will be talking about something called ‘The Four Pleasures’. This is a model that came from the social sciences which gives a really simple approach and yet which enables you to get a really deep understanding of people. I use it with all of my clients and I will be giving lots of well-known examples to show how it works.
Big thanks to Patrick for taking the time to do this interview. If you are interested in meeting up with Patrick, don't forget to register for the From Business to Buttons conference! You can also go to the From Business to Buttons Facebook Event to find out more about who's coming.
See you in Malmö in June!