In a typical design process, it is common to focus on a particular target group of users and spend time understanding their problems, needs and motivations. Although this is an important step in a design process, the insights from this well-defined group may be limited to a small set of emotions and practices. The method of extreme characters allows going beyond considering the needs of typical and conventional users, by prompting us to think about design solutions for extreme characters, such as a drug dealer or a secret service agent. It encourages divergent thinking through ‘defamiliarisation’ and by moving outside of well-defined problem spaces to access a larger spectrum of human emotions and practices.
Continued on pages 74–75 of Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat.