Human Centred Food: Interpreting

The next stage of the design-thinking process is interpretation. Rather than engage directly with consumers, Verganti advocates building a network of interpreters. These interpreters are specialists in identifying meaning in products and also identifying how the consumer lives, how they feel and what challenges they face. Interpreters can come from anywhere and this is where a proper discourse can begin. Interpreters can be sociologists, architects, journalists, retailers, and cultural organisations such as the Slow Food network, designers, educators and artists. Essentially an interpreter for your company is anyone who can give you a richer appreciation of the lives of your customers. Interpreters may also be used to spread the word about your product so they must be trusted by the consumer. Interpreters may also be people who produce different products, but are working in a similar market e.g. a food producer may learn from a kitchen designer how work surfaces are used in the home and from this devise new packaging or a new product. Food producers may also want to talk to those who are working in the tourism industry to get insight about what foods can be transported overseas.

Clearly engaging with interpreters can be a rewarding process for all. Using a network of interpreters means that by the time your product is produced it will already have a group of trusted champions.

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