According to Wikipedia a stereotype is: “any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group”
How many stereotypes did you use today? Quite a few probably. Whether we like it or not, we use stereotypes to process information quickly.
Stereotyping is effective because it saves us a lot of energy, but effective is not the same as accurate. When we don’t think things through, we make awkward and sometimes painful mistakes.
Companies overestimate their impact on the lives of their customers. As a result, their image of the customer is biased. This has a huge impact in the design process; are we talking about real people or are we talking about the people we’d like our customers to be?