Human Centred Design (HCD) is about understanding how people use things, why they use things – and then creating the things they need. When we developed an App for a leading retail company, we started by asking a few questions:

  • Feasibility – Can we deliver it?
  • Viability – Is there a strong business case for it?
  • Desirability – Will customers want it?

We then brought together a team of developers, designers, and engineers with one shared purpose – to deliver an app that the Retail company customers actually wanted to use.

Here are some HCD mantras that we standardized in the process:

  1. Have empathy for the customer – HCD is an iterative approach to solving customer problems in the right manner. It requires a genuine understanding of customer pain points, which means interviewing them to identify and prioritize the needs and issues. The feedback loop helps eliminate risks from projects ensuring acceptance by constantly asking – is this actually what the customer wants?
  2. Be careful while transitioning – While using apps, people get familiar over time and it becomes difficult to break out of the habit of navigation and use. It is important that a design balances this familiarity with the new simplicity needs.
  3. Collaborate to conceptualize – In order to design something innovative, it is important to bring together various people (internal and external to the organization) into one room for brainstorming. Radical ideas can come from people with non-UX backgrounds and this ideation can help set the design apart.
  4. It may not be just one-time – Products like mobile apps keep changing all the time, and this calls for frequent updates and releases in order to overcome competition in the marketplace.
  5. Test-adapt-test – An agile approach to design ensures success. It helps to develop the app incrementally – after delivering builds, design checks have to be conducted and feedback can be incorporated. Breaking the complete development into smaller chunks and delivering incrementally can minimize gaps.
  6. Small changes can make a difference – Some features which are minor and also inexpensive to develop can actually translate to the ‘wow’ factor that customers expect.

HCD is teachable and scalable, offers an opportunity to include every single person in the company in the process.