Designers are somehow required to have the ability to put himself or herself in someone’s shoe.
In my opinion, the understanding of personality archetypes and Gestalt psychology and theory are important skills that will help one understand how certain products and their appearance and function will be perceived and interpreted by potential users.
At the broad overarching level, according to certains schools of psychological thoughts, there are 5 aspects to a person’s consciousness, namely the Ego, Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus and the Self. In my opinion, thses aspects can somewhat influence one’s inclination towards certain products. For example, the Persona may influence how one will acquire certain products or brands to ‘strategically’ project or portray a certain image.
Traditionally, there are 12 Personality Archetypes. Personality Archetypes are sometimes used during market and target group research to gain better understandings of the attributes and character profile of users and/or buyers.
Quite often, ideas for products are enthusiastically conceived. However, without a corresponding match of product to its intended user’s perception, there will be few buyers. Products (and their interface) must match the Users (or Target Market User’s) perceived interpretation of them.
Products and artifacts are rarely just tools to users and owners. Human Being tend to attached emotional labels to objects that they desire or own. To illustrate how certain people tend to like certain products, we can look into existing brands and products. For example, Niche products are aimed at the Hero archetype. Harley Davidson appeals to the Rebel/Outlaw personality archetypes.
To sum up, a Designers role is not just in prettifying things… again this is a public perception. On a
different level of exploration, there are benefits in gaining understanding and insights into the psyche and mindset of audience and potential users.