Human-centered design, a buzzword that is overused and abused.
A challenge I commonly see designers struggling with is their ability to stay creative and push their thinking within the constraints that exist around their work. Deadlines, availability of resources, business goals, team dynamics, and existing ways-of-working all contribute to how they can approach and solve a problem.
Within the context of a problem, constraints present us with both challenges and opportunities — learning to understand and embrace them as opportunities is not only creatively liberating, it’s also a path toward showing and proving the value of design in driving business outcomes and efficiencies.
As designers, how we approach a…
To truly understand human behavior, we need to understand more than what someone is doing (their scenario), we need to understand why they are doing it — the needs, goals and motivations that incite them to action.
To acquire this level of understanding, we need to speak with and observe people. Moderated or unmoderated research methodologies (interviews, surveys, etc…) enable us to engage in a dialogue with a person, but how do we ensure that we get the level of insights we need to understand both behavior and the motivations behind it?
Letting non-researchers conduct their own UX research can be a risky proposition. Without knowledge of the craft, or prior experience delivering actionable insights, fledgling researchers run the risk of producing learnings that are too general, or are misaligned with the context and goals of the environment in which they are being ingested — I call these non-insights.
They are learnings that are not understood or valued by stakeholders, and are often met with responses like “we already knew that” or “this doesn’t feel relevant to us”.
When others fail to see the value in our insights, we risk delegitimizing the…
When conducting UX Research, there are many factors to consider — one that is often underestimated is the context and environment which your research is being conducted. If insights from your research are too general or are misaligned with the context and goals of the environment in which they are being consumed, they will not be understood or valued by the people receiving them. Even worse, when others fail to see the value in your insights, you run the risk of delegitimizing the credibility and value of research in your organization.
Designers, I will start with a hard truth — no one cares about your process.
Even me, a human-centered design practitioner who believes that a deep understanding of the goals, motivations, and underlying needs of our customers is a prerequisite to creating anything new, novel, or more efficient.
To design impactful human-centered design solutions, we need to understand more than the needs of end-users — we need an in-depth understanding of our customers, ourselves and the world (around us).
A 360° understanding provides us with an understanding of both the internal and external landscape and empowers us with knowledge that fosters impact and alignment.
With this understanding, we not only have the knowledge to develop significantly more impactful and differentiating human-centered design solutions (impact), we are also able to think and act more strategically — aligning design thinking and decision-making with the needs, goals and priorities of the…
Having an in-depth understanding of the needs, behaviors, and psyche of your customers is a prerequisite to the facilitation of impactful human-centered product design and development.
Understanding how to speak with someone to gain an understanding of their behavior is both art and science, it requires us to go beyond simply asking a list of questions. We need to master how to actively listen, then respond — guiding a conversation in new directions based on what is being said, while maintaining a focus that ensures we obtain relevant insights.
Mastering the foundational skillset associated with structuring and facilitating an effective…
Insights from user research can help answer most questions. However, not every question justifies the effort associated with conducting user research.
Assessing the value of research provides Context and saves time — it helps us avoid redundancy, establish clarity around what we want to learn, determine if our questions should be answered via UX Research, and clarify how we (as a team) will go about answering the questions we have.
Establishing Context around UX Research at the onset of a project enables teams conducting research set themselves up for success and significantly enhance their ability to produce and deliver targeted…
User insights are a fundamental element of human-centered design and help to facilitate impactful product design and development.
If a product or design solution is not rooted in an understanding of user needs and behavior, it does not account for how real people will interact with it, and its chance of delivering value and impact are relegated to luck.
User insights are fundamental to the product design and development process — they help us understand a problem, before we try to solve it.