09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
09/22/2021 — Dr. Guido Beier at the dmi: Design Leadership Conference in Boston +++
77 Human Needs System

Home of the 77 Human Needs System

What are human needs?
Human needs control our experience and behavior to ensure the unfolding of our full potential. If they are satisfied, our brain rewards this with positive emotions. Needs have evolved evolutionarily with the human being.

The 77 Human Needs System consists of 5 needs categories: physiological, sensory, actional, social, and ideal needs.

Physical Needs - We have to satisfy biological functions for our survival as humans. The 77 Human Needs System distinguishes 9 physiological needs, for example eating, drinking, sexuality and sleeping. The physiological needs become very dominant in case of a deficit - try to stop breathing and you will experience this first hand.
Sensual Needs - Each of our senses wants to be satisfied. We are attracted to beautiful sensations and we flee if stimuli are disgusting. A lot of business areas are focusing on our sensorial needs, e.g. restaurants on tasting and roller coasters on our balancing sense. Though most systematics count 5 or 6 senses, the 77 Human Needs System includes 9.
Actional Needs - As humans we are changing our environment to survive and develop. Meaningful or intuitive behavior gives us an invincible evolutionary advantage. The 77 Human Needs System describes 21 actional needs, for instance curiosity, control, relaxation and playing. Creating excellent usability is a big contribution for the fulfilment of actional needs.
Social Needs - Humans have better chances to survive if they are organized in groups. That´s why, every one of us wants to be part of a community. Because our social life is very complex, the 77 Human Needs System includes 18 social needs. Some of them are bidirectional like giving shelter and being sheltered, others are as fundamental as communication, friendship and love.
Ideal Needs - As conscious beings, we can reflect what we do, who we want to be and which values we follow.  Ideal needs represent the social values which we consciously or unconsciously have chosen as our own. They give us orientation for daily decision and the big plans for our life. Freedom, responsibility, performance, hedonism and self-congruence are examples from the list of 20 ideal needs of the 77 Human Needs System.

Advantages of the 77 HN System

The 77 Human Needs System is the most comprehensive collection of human needs.
The needs are not only listed but also described in an understandable way and made accessible through illustrations.
For each need there is an exemplary collection of emotions that can be triggered by fulfillment or non-fulfillment.
The 77 Human Needs can be easily integrated into practical work through methods from the areas of design thinking, experience measurements and coaching.

77 Human Needs System

In addition to the physical and digital 77 Human Needs cards, we have developed a version optimized for virtual whiteboards.

77 Human Needs System

You got questions? We have answers.

Do we humans really have exactly 77 needs?

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It is difficult to state the exact number of human needs, probably impossible. It depends on how granular you want to distinguish the needs. The number 77 has proven to be the best approximation during the development of the Human Needs System. We assume that we are within an error range of about +/- 10%.

Why are not 5, 8 or 12 basic needs sufficient?

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Theories of needs with so few basic needs are mostly created as condensations of the real existing variety of needs. Mostly, mathematical methods like factor analysis are used for this purpose. If you want to explain the world in a simple way, this will do. But if you want to design offers for real people in real contexts, you will soon realize, that you need a more precise differentiation of needs. Behind the super-need "Belonging" there can be e.g. love, friendship, family or a work team - with different experiences and emotions.

77 needs are so many - how to work with them?

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77 needs are indeed too many to consider at the same time. Therefore, the first step in a project is to identify the needs that drive the to be designed Experience. This is best clarified in a (short) research phase. Sometimes, 2-3 days are enough. For higher complex topics however, such as smart home or work, more time is required. Usually, you will then be able to focus on a number of 3 to 12 needs.

How were the 77 Needs selected?

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Needs researcher have been around for about 100 years, starting with the analysts Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung, humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Henry Murray, to motivation and values researchers such as Schalom Schwartz and Wolfgang Bilsky.  The 77 Human Needs System is a summary of previous research, enriched with Guido Beier's experience from 25 years of psychological work and more than 3000 in-depth interviews as an experience researcher.

Are the 77 Human Needs empirically validated?

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In empirical studies on needs analyses in the consumer sector and on the employee experience with over 20,000 participants to date, we have been able to demonstrate the explanatory power of the 77 Human Needs very well.

Where can I get more information on the 77 Human Needs System?

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Most of the information can be found in the publication "77 Human Needs", which you can buy as a high quality, small edition card set as well as in pdf form in our store. Also, we regularly present the 77 Human Needs System at conferences or MeetUps - it's worth checking out our news ticker. Or just simply write us via our contact form.

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