OFTEN WHEN WE talk about price what we’re really measuring is value. In real estate you’ll often hear that a property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. This is the idea behind Buy a Feature. The game is designed to help elicit the truth about what people value, not just what they say they value.
This method is based on a system of constraints that create tension by offering choices that exceed available resources. It aims to simulate the conditions that exist when people have to budget their resources to get what they truly desire. Because you provide people with a limited amount of currency with which to buy items, participants must pick and choose which are most important. The resulting decisions are valuable in assessing what features or concepts should be present in the final design. Additionally, you can monitor the decision-making process, asking questions about why participants make certain choices. Those answers may be just as meaningful as their purchases.