There’s never been so many ways for brands to get closer to their customers. Whether passive (e.g. viewing groups), active (e.g. accompanied interviewing), participative (e.g. co-creation) the outcome is similar: bringing the experience of others to the fore to inspire change.
The Third Age Suit is a compelling route to customer empathy. It limits the wearer’s mobility, helping them experience how ageing affects how people use products.
Guardian online has a useful 3 minute video of Josh Halliday trying one out, with interesting results.
It was originally developed to help Ford‘s design teams:
“UK life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last 100 years, and the motor industry has had to stay ahead of the game… Ford’s Third Age Suit, used by engineers to replicate physical constraints associated with growing older. The suit can simulate mobility issues, such as those caused by arthritis; eyesight conditions, thanks to specially designed glasses; and reduced tactile sensitivity, sometimes experienced due to age and/or skin conditions. By experiencing these limitations themselves, Ford’s engineers can help ensure Ford vehicles are accessible and easily useable.”