A main factor of growing a business is money. What if I told you that by simply implementing a new way of thinking and putting a process into place your business could be putting thousands more dollars in the bank? Most people would jump at the opportunity.
Think about how much money your business could save on support if your product was more friendly to the average user. Imagine how much some companies could save on legal fees and medical costs if their machinery had more defined safety instructions. These are both high level examples of how a company could save money by incorporating "human-centered design thinking" into their processes.
Human-centered design is an approach that develops solutions to problems and makes systems usable and useful through an intense focus on the human users. The key to successful human-centered design thinking is having empathy for the user. It is knowing their needs, requirements, ergonomics, preferences and challenges.
The key to human-centered design thinking is simple - always put the user ahead of the product. Is that flashy feature really necessary? Are you fixing a problem, or giving the user a new set of problems? Can they navigate your product intuitively? Never have assumptions about your users and always prototype, test and iterate. If you're not seeing results, it's time to step back and focus on what your users are actually trying to accomplish with your product.
Let's break down some outcomes of investing in human-centered design thinking as early as the discovery phase of a project:
If you implement human-centered design thinking early on, you can identify potential barriers to the success of your product before they have a negative impact on it. By prototyping, testing and iterating early on in the total life cycle, you are making necessary changes in the development stage that can be reworked at a much lower cost than if your product is already in production.
When your product is developed with a successful focus on human-centered design, the end result will be something that is intuitive for the average user. Through testing and iteration, you can identify impediments to users and develop useful product education materials for them. With the addition of thorough on-boarding when your user first comes into contact with your product, you lessen reliance on support representatives and the associated costs.
This goes back to knowing your users and their requirements. Think about how your users can accomplish their tasks in as few steps as possible. No one should have to overthink while using your product. All they want to do is get where they're going, not ask for directions on the way. It's simple - the most successful products are the ones that are easiest to use
Picture the last time that you opened up a new software only to be confronted with dozens of new tabs, icons and buttons to press. Was it overwhelming? Did you get frustrated? These are not emotions you want your users to feel. This can be solved by eliminating unnecessary and confusing features and creating step-by-step instructions on how to use the product. This goes back to the on-boarding concept; simplify everything for your new user. Show them how to navigate.
Creating better user experiences will naturally result in higher customer satisfaction. This will snowball into positive reviews and more referrals. Word of mouth is a highly powerful and free form of marketing. Put your user first and they will put YOU ahead of your competitors.
If you're considering investing in human-centered design thinking, think about how to implement it throughout your product's total life cycle:
Implementing human-centered design thinking will benefit a business through the total life cycle of a product, from its conception to its end. It's never too late to step back and rework your business' processes. Your business is always evolving - why shouldn't your thinking?
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