An Introduction to Human-Centred Design

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You may or may not have heard the term ‘human-centred’ in relation to a design process which, as a designer with an anthropology background, led me to taking a course in Human-Centred Design run by IDEO, one of the most innovative and award-winning design businesses in the world.

Their main principle is that when you understand the people you’re trying to reach — and design from their perspective — not only will you you’ll arrive at unexpected answers, but you’ll come up with ideas that they’ll embrace. Or as I like to summarise: the place where business, creativity and empathy come together.

This creative, problem-solving approach that starts with the customer and ends with innovative solutions tailored to the customer’s needs is being used by a growing number of businesses in all industries. Just think of Deliveroo, Netflix and Airbnb to name a few, as customer-centric companies thriving in the current consumer-driven landscape. These businesses are continually evolving to increase customer satisfaction by focusing on understanding customers’ needs and preferences.

So with a driving force of empathy for the end-user and staying connected to their behaviours and needs, this can inform a business on what they need to focus on. Sometimes it’s hard to look form the outside in and we can miss ideas and solutions that might be right in front of us when you’re not in the shoes of your customer.

When the approach is followed properly (a six-stage process of observation, ideation, rapid prototyping, user feedback, iteration and implementation) it can transform businesses whose products and services deeply resonate with their audience, ultimately driving customer engagement and growth. And who wouldn’t want that for their business?

Why a Human-Centred Approach is Crucial for Business