To grasp human-centered design, let’s start with what it isn’t.
Imagine you’re employed at a gaming design company, and at some point your boss involves you and says, “Teenagers today — they should get off their phones. Let’s design a crossword-puzzle board game for teenagers — they’d welcome the chance to get offline.”
Your boss has good intentions, but his intentions don’t match your consumer’s reality. His idea isn’t empathetic towards an adolescent’s passions, and it isn’t an answer that matches their wants and desires.
What’s human-centered design?
Human-centered design is a problem-solving method that requires you to place your consumer’s needs first when tackling a difficulty. To make use of human-centered design in your creative process, you could know your consumer deeply, empathize with an actual problem they face, and provide you with solutions they’d embrace. Human-centered design means creating products to resolve your consumer’s struggles and help them live higher, easier lives.
Now, let’s have a look at an actual example of human-centered design: meal subscription boxes.
Take HelloFresh, founded in 2011 by Dominik Richter, Thomas Griesel, and Jessica Nilsson. The corporate delivers a box of fresh food to your door, with easy recipes included. The founders recognized that folks have trouble finding time to buy groceries and struggle to create healthy, reasonably priced meals — they got here up with an answer to each problems.
Unlike your boss in the primary example, the HelloFresh founders didn’t develop an idea unrelated to real consumer needs. As a substitute, they recognized a struggle someone was facing after which worked to invent an answer. In this manner, it’s arguable that human-centered design is a safer and more trustworthy approach to problem-solving.
Whether your role requires you to pitch ideas in marketing meetings or design the products your organization sells, it’s critical you understand the means of human-centered design. By putting your consumer on the forefront of your creative process, you ensure each product you create and distribute is a real, long-term solution to your consumer’s needs. If done accurately, you’ll gain a rather more reliable and dependable customer base.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of human-centered design, let’s dive into the assorted stages of a human-centered design process and have a look at some examples so you are feeling confident implementing the strategy for yourself.
Human-centered Design Process
IDEO — the worldwide design firm behind Apple’s first computer mouse, the Palm Pilot, in 1998, and more — got here up with three phases for the human-centered design process, which has helped them create such successful and long-lasting products.
The three phases of the human-centered design process are inspiration, ideation, and implementation.
Phase One: Inspiration.
The inspiration stage requires true on-the-ground research. You’ll need to interact directly along with your audience to grasp their biggest problems and pain points. It’s necessary to research your audience. You desire to discover: what makes your consumer comfortable? What makes them frustrated? What do they do first within the morning? How do they devour content? What takes up most of their time?
Essentially, you need to see from their viewpoint.
There are a couple of different methods you can use to research your audience. For example, you may send out surveys to customers via email or create a survey submission form on considered one of your web pages. In case you find it difficult to get people to fill out the survey, you may offer incentives — 10% off their next purchase or a ticket for a raffle contest with a giveaway prize.
You might facilitate a spotlight group in case you don’t feel comfortable with surveys.
In case you often interact with consumers on the phone or email, you may hear about issues they’re having organically.
In case you’re still unsure which direction to take, try 19 Tools & Resources for Conducting Market Research for more ideas.
When you’ve done your market research, list along with your team all of the trivial and major problems with which your consumer struggles (inside your skill set or products, in fact). Consider the most important hassles your consumer faces and the way your products could recuperate to resolve those issues.
Phase Two: Ideation.
Just like the HelloFresh founders, your team must envision a future that doesn’t exist yet. Now that you understand what problems your consumer faces, what solutions could help them turn out to be higher, happier, and more productive?
The ideation stage is your “no such thing as a foul idea” brainstorming session. It requires you and your colleagues to create and tweak a protracted list. Take good ideas, and make them higher. Refine and tweak them. Imagine all the several ways you can solve a customer’s problem, big and small.
Once you’re confident you might have a sensible, human-centered idea to resolve for a customer’s needs, you’ll need to ascertain how a product could solve that solution.
Let’s use our HelloFresh example to see this stage more clearly. In Phase Two, Ideation, you’ve already recognized that folks don’t have time to grocery shop and need healthy meals (that was Phase One). On this step, you’ve made a protracted list of potential solutions, i.e., “YouTube tutorials to create healthy meals? Write a cookbook? Pay for somebody to return into your house and cook for you? Pay for a truck to deliver healthy food to your door?”
Ultimately, your team has decided — aha! We’ll create a meal subscription service.
Now, you need to prototype and test this product in your ideal persona.
Remember, the entire premise behind human-centered design is digging into your consumer’s actual needs and providing an answer to those needs. In case you receive feedback on limitations of your product, don’t get dejected — get inspired. That feedback is precisely what you have to ensure your product will gain long-term traction along with your goal consumer base.
Phase Three: Implementation.
So that you’ve created and tested a prototype of your product, collected feedback, and appear ready for release to a wider audience.
Now, it’s time to market your product. Ultimately, you’ll need to imagine yourself in your consumer’s shoes after which market to them from that viewpoint: How would I wish to study this product if I were them?
Since your product revolves around your consumer’s struggles, you’ll need to develop an efficient marketing technique to spread the word about your product as a long-term solution to an actual struggle.
You furthermore may might want to contemplate partnering with other businesses who offer similar solutions or share an audience with similar problems. By partnering with a business, you’re capable of offer the user more of an all-in-one solution.
Human-centered Design Examples
1. Colgate Toothbrush
Colgate-Palmolive’s toothbrush, Acti-Brush, was modern within the Nineties, but since then, competitor toothbrushes have surpassed Colgate’s available on the market. Colgate-Palmolive hired Altitude, a design consulting firm focused on human-centered designs, to create a recent toothbrush model.
The Altitude team extensively researched the audience after which developed the Motion, a recent, slimmer, high-powered toothbrush with oscillating heads and an arcing neck. All the product, from superficial features to performance, centered around one critical query: will this serve our user’s needs? Ultimately, the Motion successfully solved a user’s problem — needing a slender toothbrush that might still deliver on performance — the industry hadn’t previously addressed.
Remember the times of paying $1.99 for one song, or hanging across the aisles of Walmart, looking for your favorite album?
I’d argue that one of the impressive displays of human-centered design is Spotify — a product that showed me my prior method for purchasing music was an issue before I even recognized it as one.
Spotify succeeded by empathizing with their users’ struggle to pay for music from disparate sources and created an answer we could all embrace. Due to Spotify, users can get all their music in a single place for one monthly fee. I’m willing to pay more for that type of tailored, customized, helpful service.
Before handy fitness trackers, we’d must estimate what number of calories we burned in a day and find the inherent motivation to be more energetic (which, as everyone knows, is an untrustworthy source).
The invention of products like Fitbit is undeniably human-centered. The inventors of fitness trackers recognized people’s challenges with tracking and maintaining fitness goals and provided a useful long-term solution. The product works with the user in mind by telling the user what number of calories she burned and urging her to exercise more.
Venmo is one other example of a product that solved an issue before most individuals realized it was one. I personally didn’t see how cumbersome exchanging money was until Venmo provided an answer.
The founders of Venmo, Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, stumbled across the concept of Venmo only once they encountered the issue. They went to Recent York City, and Iqram forgot his wallet. Andrew paid for every thing, and at the top of the trip, Iqram wrote him a check.
During that exchange of cash, they thought, “Why is that this still one of the best ways of exchanging money? Why can’t we do that on our phones?”
The Venmo founders needed to resolve an issue they encountered and construct an answer from which other people could also profit.
Hopefully, these examples confirm the usefulness of human-centered design for creating long-lasting and modern products. You’re now able to tackle your creative process from a special approach — the human angle.