But, why is Human-Centered Design Important?

In UI and UX, the main focus is on catering to public demands. For this, it is absolutely necessary for UX designers to base their Design Thinking approach on customer reviews and make it primarily user-centric. Sometimes called “participatory design,” human-centered design focuses on people’s everyday thinking, emotions, and behaviour. It is a creative approach to problem-solving that involves the customer from the very beginning and places them at the midpoint of the digital design process. This is an important distinction for UX designers to make as by putting the client or user first, and taking the time to understand their actual needs, problems, desires, dreams and goals, a deep connection can be built that if nurtured, will be ongoing and lead to the creation of products that will solve people’s problems and help them lead easier lives.

Having a human-centered design is one of the most important aspects for any company to ensure a large user base. In addition to potentially having an impact on a company’s bottom line, it leads to better products that solve real-world problems for people. Asking the wrong questions and keeping the customer aloof to the design thinking process definitely leads to a product’s failure.

The Six Phases of HCD

1. Observation

  • Making assumptions and hypotheses

  • User research

  • Empathy

  • Understanding “context of use”

2. Ideation

  • Asking the right questions

  • Personas

  • Empathy maps

  • Customer journey maps

  • Sketching and ideating

3. Rapid Prototyping - designing and testing solutions

4. User Feedback - User Testing

  • User testing and validation

  • Usability testing

5. Iteration

6. Implementation

The critical “investigative phase” is an important component of the human-centered design process. Great UX designers help teams make better decisions by using questions to identify opportunities, reveal underlying needs, and understand user context. As designers, one must ask relevant questions with a desire to explore the product design process more deeply, in order to bring about the best design solution. A learner mindset is essential in HCD, where the learner is optimistic and seeks understanding.

An old UX saying says:

“Walk a mile in the user’s shoes.”

When designers are in close contact with their customers a deeper sense of empathy emerges- which is the basis of Design Thinking. Focusing on all users of a product while applying the HCD process, designers can easily find their way forward in a directed manner. A good human-centered approach encourages the creation of products that resonate more deeply with an audience, ultimately driving engagement and growth.

Failure is an inherent part of the process. When human-centered designers get it right, it’s because they got it wrong first. In this saturated digital environment where people have become demanding and very savvy, applying human-centered design is pretty much mandatory in order to gain their trust quickly, ensure their loyalty, and build brand recognition. The HCD process ensures that the right content, features, and functionality are presented in the right place, at the right time, in the right way, providing optimum user experiences, effortless interaction, and ultimately, business benefits.

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