What the hell is Human-Centric Design and why it matters?

As we all know, if we don’t then we should, that all design starts and ends with humans. So that is what human-centric design is, targeting the problems they and solving them to suit their needs. While practicing human-centric design you find yourself empathizing with the people you’re designing for, whether it is coming up with more and more ideas, or prototyping, and finally making the innovation available to the world.

Like all design human-centric design also has phases, mainly three. The Inspiration Phase- this is the starting point where you try to understand the needs of the people that you are going to be designing for. The ideation phase- Making use of your experience and what you’ve learnt you have to try to identify the opportunities for design and suggest various solutions. And last but not least the Implementation stage- whose meaning is synonymous to the name. You implement the best of the solutions and bring it into the market.

Now that we’ve know what human-centric design is. Why do we need it? When the process of human-centric design is done well you will find your innovation resonate more with the audience you’re trying to target which would ultimately be the driving force of growth. Just take a look and recent companies like Fab, Airbnb, Google, eBay. To really experiment with human-centric design you can try a lot of various methods but here are just a few you can start off with:

Asking the Correct questions

If you find yourself in an idea block or not coming up with viable solutions you are chances are you are probably not asking the right questions and if you are what’s the harm in asking more. Depending on what you’re trying to design you should definitely ask How, What, and why, questions. While designing a product for those with special needs we asked ourselves “how can we make their lives easier?”

Get out form the Confines of Your Desk

You might have the entire world at your computer keys but that is still not enough. You might reach a stagnation point with your ideas which are not going to get you anywhere. The more you get out in the world the more you will find yourself undergoing the inspiration phase. Not only that you can see the use of your product and might just come up with ideas then and there.

Take User Feedback

After coming up with solutions a user feedback can be a great tool. Since they are the ones you are designing for anyway. You will in to time come up with new ideas and improvements upon your original design making it better solution to the problem. Keep it short and interesting so it’s easy so the participants remain engrossed. You can ask them to physically use it and verbalize their thought process. Try to give them a prototype to use for a day or two because not all problems might be found directly while using.

There you have it, like the constitution says “By the people, for the people, to the people.” It applies aptly for design too.

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