Why You Need Human-Centered Design

In a nutshell, human-centered design is about observing user behavior and viewing yourself in their place. Let’s look at what human-centered design is (and isn’t) and why you need it to create digital services that address evolving customer needs.

Business models and consumer markets are undergoing dramatic transformation fuelled by new technology. The race is on to develop a customer-first approach to service design so as to be able to compete with new players coming from other industries. Take banking, for example, where mobile apps created using data to understand customer needs, are disrupting business as usual for banks and fuelling a whole new ecosystem of mobile financial services.

HCD Is Not The Same As UX

In our blog post, What is Human-Centred Design and Why is it Important?, we shared a great quote from artist and educator Francesca Elisia, who defines the difference:

  • “Human-centred design is a framework that considers human perspectives throughout the design process.”
  • “User experience design is the design of multisensory experiences, typically at the interface between humans and technology. It is one of many design disciplines that takes a human-centred approach.”

It is a design and management framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process, “observing the problem within context, brainstorming, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the solution.” (Source)

Digital Services That Address Evolving Customer Needs

Human-centered design is about creating digital services that address evolving customer needs by taking a customer-centric approach during the design phase. Data plays a major role as information drawn from consumers’ digital footprints offer product and service designers a wealth of information from which to glean insights and come up with something that really resonates with people.

Specifically, product and service designers develop a data mindset and create iterative data projects using competitor and market analysis, exploring social media data and Google Analytics. They turn data into insights and use them to solve business problems.

“When done well, a human-centered approach fuels the creation of products that resonate more deeply with an audience — ultimately driving engagement and growth.”

Dave Thomsen
Executive vice president of product and design at Wanderful Media