Designing products to meet consumers’ needs is central to business success, and human-centric design allows companies to place customers at the center of their creative process.
Consider Venmo, an app for sharing money between friends. The creators conceived of it to address a personal challenge they experienced during travel – and now, the brand is well known and respected across the board.
1. Get to Know Your Customers
Human-centric design refers to the process of crafting products tailored specifically to meet people’s needs and desires. Empathizing with individuals allows designers to craft solutions that will have an immediate and positive effect on their lives while increasing customer loyalty.
Inspiration is the first step of human-centric design process, which involves gathering knowledge about your target audience and their needs through various generative research techniques like interviews, immersion or observation.
Once you’ve gathered this information, the next step should be empathizing and defining a solution. This involves reviewing problem statements that were generated during the inspire phase and reframing them according to your users’ needs. Remember that problem statements may alter as new insights surface. This should be expected; for instance, Venmo creators didn’t realize just how cumbersome exchanging money was until they experienced it firsthand and this realization inspired their product development efforts.
2. Understand Their Needs
One of the primary reasons products fail is due to not meeting real needs. While it might be tempting to develop products in isolation and hope they find favor among the target population, human-centered design helps ensure your innovations are both desirable and feasible.
HelloFresh meal subscription boxes were developed to address an issue many were facing; specifically, finding time and energy to shop and prepare their own meals at home was becoming a burdensome chore. By solving this problem for their customers, HelloFresh made cooking simpler and more pleasurable for its members.
Inspiration comes next, which involves exploring what problems people are currently experiencing and their desired solutions. This involves researching, observing and interviewing potential customers in order to fully comprehend their real needs while creating ideas to solve those problems. This phase is crucial since your team must learn about real needs of real people so as to provide meaningful solutions that address those needs effectively.
3. Create Personas
Personas can help guide the product development process more efficiently. While it can be easy to get lost in the details and create generic software solutions, creating personas helps focus your development process around people whom your product should target specifically.
Once you’ve compiled all your data, it’s time to start creating user personas. By using qualitative information from user research as input for persona creation, this step forces designers to take a step back and assess who exactly they’re designing for.
Personas are fictional representations of your customer base that provide key demographic details like age, gender, occupation and location. With this data in hand, a detailed profile of a person will form the basis for design decisions. A well-formed persona document can be very helpful when engaging stakeholders or keeping end users top of mind during design efforts – however it’s important not to view its creation as the final goal in itself!
4. Collect Feedback
Where traditional marketing strategies focus on market research and business goals, human-centric design places emphasis on user needs and expectations to design products that align with those expectations – which in turn increases customer satisfaction, builds brand loyalty and boosts sales.
Utilizing a human-centric approach can reduce development costs by quickly detecting issues early. This can be done through conducting research and usability tests, creating journey maps and workflows, user models, visual concepts designs prototypes etc.
At this stage, it is crucial to analyze ideas against desirability and feasibility criteria in order to ensure that innovation reaches its intended audience and solves an actual issue. Furthermore, it must work within existing ecosystems; Venmo’s creators managed to do just this when traveling through New York City! Identifying real problems while offering innovative solutions is at the heart of successful product development.