Building Human-Centric Products

Almost every day, a new product is being launched globally with the goal of having a community of customers who will interact with the product when needed.

Building a product and attracting customers are two different feats. To achieve the latter, you certainly have to be on the right track. You need to be in the customer’s shoes of knowing how, where, and why they will use your product. This is where “Human-Centered Design” plays a role.

What is Human-Centered Design?

According to IDEO (an award-winning design firm), human-centered design is a creative approach to problem-solving that starts with people and ends with innovative solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs.

In simpler terms, it is the act of working towards building a product and service that will please potential customers. It also means creating products that help solve customer problems and make their lives much easier.

Let us look at a real example of human-centered design: Peak Evaporated Milk

The Problem

This is one of the most populous milk brands in Africa designed to meet customer’s needs but yet many users experienced difficulty creating an opening for usage.

The Solution

A pull cap was designed at the top of the product. This solved the customer’s challenge of difficult openings with sharp objects by just simply pulling the cap.

As you can see from the above example, the human-centered design approach was used in a problem-solving situation which helped the Peak Milk founders recognize the problem customer’s faced and came up with a solution relating to customer’s needs.

It is also important to understand the processes involved in the human-centered design model.

The Human-Centered Design Process (The Six Phases of HCD)

OBSERVATION — At this phase, a lot of assumptions are going to be made. You will need to have an understanding of users’ pain points, and then create solutions.

Hence, The goal is to identify who the customers you are designing for are and what exactly are the challenges they are facing.

IDEATION — This is a collaborative phase with team members to share ideas based on the observations they have learned.

Ensure every team member is to be given an opportunity to speak, share ideas, and more importantly ask the right questions as this will lead to innovative solutions.

PROTOTYPE — The purpose of this phase is to create an experimental version of the product that will be used to validate ideas and show intentions behind a feature.

A prototype doesn’t have to be expensive, so do not stress about a lack of budget. They can be made simply through paper drawings.

User Feedback — This is one of the most important phases of the human-centered design process.

At this stage, feedback from users is expected to happen while the product is still being developed. The inputs from your end-users will determine if your ideas have been solid enough to solve a problem.

ITERATION — Now you have gotten feedback from users, the iterative phase will ensure that the product meets their needs.

This may take several testing stages to finalize but that’s just fine! The goal is to keep integrating user feedbacks until a perfect solution has been created.

IMPLEMENTATION — Here comes the final stage! So you’ve observed customers’ challenges, brainstormed ideas with team members, tested a prototype of your product, and gotten feedback from users, right?

Now it’s time to release your product. Go ahead. You’ve been amazing!

SUMMARY

Human-Centered Design is all about solving problems. if you want your startup or enterprise to be successful, you must be working on solving common customer needs.

The HCD process used at Grupa also ensures the necessary features are implemented on a product which helps provide a great user experience for customers.

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