Periodic table of human needs

New digital standards

Thinkers Co Blog - Periodic table of human needs

Every day we talk in meetings and work processes over and over again of the “Pains & Gains” of our users and customers, whether talking about the development of a new product, service or business, pain points, aspirations, etc., all of them framed in their minimal expression by Abraham Maslow in his Maslow Pyramid.

Developed in recent years in the digital environment, it is a talked about a transformation and revolution that are changing the pulse of the society that we know today. In this context, from Thinkers Co., we have long been asking ourselves, if the distribution determined by the humanistic psychologist in its day, is still adequate, or we should reinterpret it and expand it. After several reflection processes, we present our distribution of needs and human motivations visualized as a periodic table of elements, picking up those described by Maslow and expanding it according to the current context.


Blog Periodic Table of Needs, new digital patterns

Why this arrangement?

Human needs have always been complex, but today, they are even more. Our motivations are not based on hierarchies in which we climb stages that go from the physiological to the self-realization. Although Maslow’s categorization is still pertinent roughly speaking, it is not its pyramidal disposition.

Once the problem is understood, the disposition of the needs in an Elements Table allows us to connect it with a “fundamental” motivation and something more concrete. We find and understand the strong pain that moves or affects our users. Understanding this is vital to generate good solutions.

How to use it?

Some tools can help us discover how our user really is, such as the Persona tool or the Empathy Map. With the periodic table of needs, we can perform these two exercises to meet the person and their “deep pains” in an accurate way.

Applying the Persona tool, we identify user needs, and through the Empathy Map, we comprehend the reason for that need.

The “Periodic Table” helps us to relate these two tools, having a final point of synthesis. The use of the Persona and Empathy Map tools allow us to explore and deepen until we understand the elements of the table that expose the behaviors, attitudes, and needs of our user.

New needs?

In accordance with the new times, more and more “technological needs” arise, which do not make any sense on their own. Have you been traveling and felt the incipient need to connect data while roaming? Have you felt frustrated not to be able to access your files?

Pay attention to these relationships and the connections between the conventional needs with those arising from the new social and economic transformation. That way, we will understand the new digital attitude.

You can download the Periodic Table here.

Published at 15/05/2018

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