Product/service development, design research related people like ethnographers, interview moderators, recruiters, coordinators, interpreters, etc. have been keeping busy in Tokyo since latter part of last year, as overseas companies are again very interested in researching Japanese market. After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 11, 2011, it has of course been an interesting study how electricity enable everything in today’s modern society. However, it is no longer about hardware at all, but just about all of them are about high lifestyle by the majority of the population in Tokyo. When I say “high” lifestyle, it means some luxury, some gracious, mostly high quality of living.
It is hardware in sense, since visitors to Tokyo are amazed by the high standard of fashion, food, health, transportation, shopping in general. Even very high percentage of public toilets are very clean, thoughtfully designed. Heated toilet seats and warm water bidet at Omotesando and some other subway and train station toilets. Also basic infrastructure like e-money, telecommunication are necessity. Researchers from overseas come to Japan now to understand the heart of high standard which is culture of service with sense of hospitality, and how that affects the function and the design of products.
Demographics that are investigated are not just teenagers, but good percentage of old age people of over 60, since Japan is now a mature model for aging society. As people over 60 using Internet with savvy, living in virtual world and real world simultaneously. We know the vast effect on the way business are conducted.