How to create products & services for your target audience
If there’s a secret sauce to successful product development, it’s human-centered design. To truly create anything with purpose, you must create with the end-user in mind.
Human-centered design is an exploration of how to accurately and innovatively create a product or service that satisfies consumers’ wants and needs. You must first understand your customer in order to best serve them. The human-centered design process is dedicated to getting to know your target audience then creating products, processes, or experiences that are crafted from their perspective.
In short, starting and ending with people helps you design products and services that your customers genuinely love. Now that’s good business.
The following are three key reasons why human-centered design is a smart strategy to implement in your business today.
3 Benefits of Human-Centered Design
Now more than ever we have been made aware of the vital importance of seeing the world through others’ eyes. Considering other people’s perspectives is what empathy is all about.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.” -Henry Ford
Empathy is the cornerstone of human-centered design. The best way to serve people is to get to know them.
One of the most informative ways to gain customer perspective is via user interviews. Essentially, they are structured conversations with your audience about your product, service, or experience that you offer. It’s just like getting to know a new friend or partner better–through conversation, you learn their likes, dislikes, hopes, and needs. This information will help you design more desirable and meaningful experiences for your customers, creating a long-term relationship with them.
2. Encourages a learner’s mindset
Seeing the world through the eyes of your customer also encourages you to approach challenges and innovation with a learner’s mindset. This expanded awareness opens you up to discover new possibilities, challenge biases, and think differently. For example, instead of being stunted by a setback, a learner’s perspective sees the challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn. You roll up your sleeves, sit and listen to the concerns of your target audience, and then tackle the obstacle with a creative solution.
Conversely, a fixed mindset keeps you stuck in one-directional thinking. You see failure as a limitation and throw in the towel, or you develop a product or service that doesn’t meet your customers’ needs at all. A fixed mindset can be judgemental and quick to categorize or place blame which blocks you from creative possibilities and maximum potential. Remember, being in authentic service of others is where we find the greatest success.
Often our most profound ideas come from thinking outside the box, so allow yourself to. Approaching business with an open mindset allows you to guide your actions through optimism and curiosity; to choose a learner’s mindset is to choose a human-centric design approach to business.
3. Drives ROI
Operating from human-centric design is indeed a better way to work, but it also directly translates to better business outcomes. A study from Forrester Research found that well established human-centered design has the potential to increase customer conversion rates up to 400%. Human-centered design is not just a competitive advantage, it is an essential asset to business success.
Human-centered design also saves you time and money; it takes out the guesswork. Engage with your target audience throughout the entire product development process–the beginning, middle, and end–to get feedback on ideas and designs. You will know exactly what your customers like and dislike and make quick, appropriate changes to best serve the end-user. Without being in conversation with your customers, you are creating blindly. This can be a big money suck.
Use a human-centric approach to pinpoint issues and respond to them before sinking design and development costs into your solution.
“Human-centered design. Meeting people where they are and really taking their needs and feedback into account. When you let people participate in the design process, you find that they often have ingenious ideas about what would really help them. And it’s not a onetime thing; it’s an iterative process.” –Melinda Gates
Treat your target audience like the important people they are–ideate and create with them in mind to provide them with the best experience possible. Ask your customers what they want and use a human-centric design approach to deliver it.