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Centercode Podcast

Testing With All Audiences, Sentiment, and What Customers Value

Posted on
May 16, 2023

What does it mean to really value something? When it comes to products and product development, does that mean enjoying a certain set of features? Or does it go beyond the simple feature set to encompass how a product makes someone feel? Or how immersed they are while they use it?

Value is something that we’re always trying to provide - to whatever audience we serve, and in today’s episode, we had some amazing insight into what value means to every audience.

Here to discuss and explore these ideas with us is Paul Chen, Senior Director of E-Design at Mattel. Paul leads a global team at one of the world’s top toy companies to engineer and develop electronic designs that enable the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood. Paul brought a lot of amazing stories and insights to the table, from his time at Microsoft helping to launch Surface, to the quirks of developing routers for different audiences at Cisco and Linksys, and adopting the mindset that the designer isn’t always the user. Paul’s passion and love for design really shined through in this episode, and it was great being able to share his love for innovation with you all.

In this episode:

  • Microsoft Surface, user design, and taking cues from users and competitors
  • Identifying what users value and combating cognitive bias
  • Mattel, testing with younger audiences, and Centercode
  • Understanding that you are not always the user
  • What users say vs. what users do, sentiment, and core user value
  • When to test, Barbie, product evolution, and knowing when to listen
  • Dogfooding, “tribal knowledge”, and learning from every user
  • Creating personas to represent numerous audiences in tests
  • Connecting with audiences in a meaningful way

About Our Guest:

Paul Chen is the Senior Director of E-Design at Mattel, leading a global team that creates the electronics for toys and baby gear, focused on electronic designs that enable the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood.  

Prior to Mattel, Paul brought Agile Methodologies and Design Thinking/Human Centered Design to multiple companies as a Product Management Leader.  Paul is fiercely in love with innovation – with over 18 patents, worked on the earliest Wi-Fi chipset, and wrote the initial MRD and PRD for Microsoft Surface.

As a people leader, Paul has established cohesive roll-out roadmap, dev cycle and release execution for multiple companies; securing #1 positions and market success with a portfolio of consumer products.

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Download the transcript here.

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