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Stop Designing for Millennials
JUN15_10_129854343

It seems like every company is trying to tap into the Millennial market. And for good reason: this year, Pew is predicting they will overtake the Baby Boomers in number, with around 75 million people in the U.S. under 34. And they are reaching an age of independent consumption, starting to have children, and becoming a presence in the workforce.

So when research comes out showing that Millennials behave differently than the rest of the population, it’s no surprise that everyone’s ears perk up. Gallup, for example, recently published survey results that showed 44% of U.S. Millennials believe firms will keep their personal data private all or most of the time, compared to 32% each of Gen X and Baby Boomers. Does this mean, then, that Millennials are willing to share more of their personal data and digital exhaust in exchange for you’re your services? And should you design your products and services with this information in mind?

While this line of thinking is seductive, we think it is misguided. Millennials, like all generational cohorts, have as much that divides as unites. Treating them as a homogenous entity is likely to fail—or worse—backfire.

At frog, a product strategy and design firm, we recently conducted a global study on attitudes to personal data, which included a question similar to Gallup’s. We asked respondents if specific brands could be trusted to do right by their personal data. Within our U.S. results we found almost no...

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