Business models and customer markets are undergoing dramatic transformation fuelled by new technology. There is an increased focus on befriending your customers and build loyalty and mutual respect.
The chase is on to develop consumer-first services and the ability to satisfy their needs, which, in turn, makes for a real path to victory. After all, the customer is the king of every business!
It is here, that a “human-centered design” comes into play, working towards creating the right business model with customer-focused services.
“The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” -Steve Jobs
So, What Exactly is Human-Centered Design?
According to product design lead and design educator Francesca Sciandra:
“Human-centred design is a framework that considers human perspectives throughout the design process.”
Let us consider Spotify as an example.
Have you ever thought about what Spotify does differently? Why does it stand out when there are already tons of applications in the music app market?
Here is the answer: It addresses the user needs, rekindling a surprise element!
Every Monday, Spotify releases an album called “Discover Weekly,” a tailored playlist of 30 songs, that is personalized for every user, based on his/her music taste and genre preference; thereby making the user feel cared for.
The moral of the story is: The amalgamation of a human-centered design approach, and an out-of-the-box solution to deliver an incredible user experience is the key to a successful business idea.
Human-Centric Design is thus the mantra, that startups looking to grow effectively should indeed focus on.
It is equally essential to understand the tactics that will help you build a successful human-centered model, in other words, understanding the human-centered design process.
The Human-Centred Design Process
Building a successful experience design is not a fluke. An effective process, if followed, and tactics, if deployed, can definitely lead you on to the path of building a powerful human-centered design.
Let’s look deeper:
1. Observation: Getting to Know the Challenge at Hand
At this step, you need to be clear about the challenge that your business will be addressing. You should ask yourself something like “What customer problems do we need to solve?” or “What goals are we helping our customers with”?
How might that be possible? Here is a well-established tactic to accomplish the above-said task with perfection.
Market Research: You can start by knowing what your existing competitors are up to, and how their customers feel about them. What things do their customers absolutely love about their solution? What customer expectations are they failing to meet?
Example: Colgate Palmolive had a monopoly back in the 1990s for electric brushes. But they lost their grip on the market. They realised they had to compete hard. Their market research led to the discovery that their target customers were below 20 who were looking for a better fitting toothbrush. That, in turn, led to the solution that took their “Acti-Brush” from number four back to number one.
2. Ideate: Stepping into the Customer’s Shoe
At this stage, you need to gather your team for a brainstorming session. Start with educating your team to make them ideate from a customer’s perspective. The main focus should be to get to the one-in-a-million idea through collaborative efforts.
Look into the following tactics that can help build a positive and interactive ideation session.
- Let Everyone Have a Voice: Giving an opportunity to everyone to speak up and come up with ideas is the best way to rediscover and innovate. This makes everybody on your team feel included and important, which, in turn, is likely to lead to productive and innovative human-centered design thinking.
- The Art of Gallery Walking: This is where you put everything that you have (customer expectations, competitors’ approach, challenges, questions, solutions) on the post-its and stick it on a wall. Let your team walk around the room at their own pace, contemplate through the information, and absorb the needful insights in order to come up with innovative ideas.
- Taking the Mutual Decisions: Once the ideas have been discussed, queries have been answered, and solutions have been shortlisted, get on to choose one-solution. Look into the practicality and the budget requirements, analyze the success of the shortlisted ideas, get your team to vote, and bingo! You will get to the idea of creating a brand that is likely to be successful in the first go.
3. Test: Finally, Putting your Idea to Work
Now that you know what needs to be done, get it into testing. You need to be sure if the product is actually useful to the users. Focus on questions like: Does the under intuitively understand how to use your product? Is the user satisfied? Does it solve the problem it was designed to address?
It would be like genuine feedback that can help you improve iteratively before you launch the product in the market.
The idea is to: Test, amend, test, amend, and finally launch.
A unique idea or a unique technology can l only be successful when you work on solving the common customer needs and respect their humanity in how they use & utilize your product in their lives. If you have a fair understanding of this human-centered design approach and the process to build a powerful one, nothing can stop you from being recognized as the best.