All business textbooks tell entrepreneurs to observe customers to look for problems that can be turned into opportunity windows. But there aren't that many tools or software programs to help you spot patterns.
Business Week profiles a tool called Mode Mapping, -- a new, smart software tool developed by Stuart Karten Design in Marina del Ray, Calif. It won a 2006 IDEA Silver Award in research.
It’s a visualization tool that tracks the state of mind of various consumers over time so designers can see patterns, by using a colorcoding system of categorizing these states of mind, or “modes.” How does Mode Mapping work? Designers identify and then color code patterns of consumer behavior to look for shared experiences — and then use these observations to suggest innovative new solutions that will appeal to customers. This creates a topography of sorts of consumer activities as well as how they are thinking and feeling during those activities.
See Business Week Blog >> [...]