Everyone sees and experiences the world differently from you.
And you need to remember this when creating something. Other people will not see things exactly as you do, or as you want them to.
I recently came across a fantastic example of this, which also happens to be a wonderful innovation.
It’s a pair of special glasses created by a company called Enchroma, which enables people with colour blindness to see the world like everyone without colour blindness do. The video above shows someone with colour blindness putting them on for the first time, and seeing colours they have never experienced before.
This resulted in the wonderful phrase he says:
Is this purple?
Over 300 million people, or 4.3% of the world’s population, suffer from colour blindness. The reason for this is that the cells in their retina pick up a broader spectrum of light than they should, which makes each wavelength of light produce a less distinct signal. So several shades of colours become merged together. The enchroma technology explanation below gives you an indication as to what effect this has on the experience of a colourblind person.
All sensations (including what you see, hear and feel) are after all just your brain interpreting signals it is sent. In some cases, if the organs creating the signal (eyes, ears etc) are not working optimally, then yes the signal can be improved for a better experience (with reading glasses to improve focus, or hearing aids to improve clarity). This helps people regain quality which was lost over time, so they can tell the difference.
But other people may never have experienced any of those sensations in the first place. In the example above, someone had never experienced a range of colour like we had. Other fantastic examples come from people who have had cochlear implants to enable them to hear, even if they were born deaf. The video below shows the experience of a woman having just undergone the operation hearing for the first time:
In both cases, the new experiences can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if people feel like their life was lacking due to previously missing out on these experiences.
What is important to remember though is that a colourblind person’s experience and way of seeing the world is not wrong.
It is simply different.
An individuals physical feelings, of how they experience the world, is known as Qualia. And the fact that it is so difficult, if not impossible, to specifically understand or explain those is called the explanatory gap.
Michael Stevens at Vsauce has a wonderful explanation of how this works in this video:
For people who are creating things, such as innovations, offerings or artwork, it is important that you therefore remember that other people will not see them in the same way that you do.
Predominantly, this is because you will know what you are producing inside out, with all of its beauty and benefits.
Other people will see it through their own lens, filtered not only based on their previous experiences but also from their knowledge of things like competing products. They will therefore not see it in the same way you do.
So spend the time to think about how to improve the perceived value of what you are offering, rather than just stating how amazing you think it is.
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