How Human-Centred Design Can Help You Avoid These 5 Common Product and Service Failures

How Human-Centred Design Can Help You Avoid These 5 Common Product and Service Failures

It’s not uncommon for businesses to experience challenges when delivering their products or services to their customers. The products and services might be of high quality and also fill a gap in the market, but the lack of customer consideration is what ultimately causes them to fail. Everything from low user uptake to bad reviews, and customer complaints can break a business. But this is a problem that can be avoided way before the products or services even hit the market. How? Human-centred design (HCD) research.

By employing human-centred design (HCD) principles, businesses can empathise with their users to gain a clear understanding of their wants, needs, and pain points. This valuable insight can help businesses create seamless experiences that foster satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, business success.

So let’s take a closer look at some of these common problems users have when using a product or service and provide ways in which you can mitigate them:

1. Usability Issues

When a service is not intuitive or user-friendly, users may feel frustrated. They may struggle to navigate through interfaces, access certain features, or perform their desired actions. To avoid this, you should:

  1. Conduct user research and usability testing, prior to designing and creating the product/service, to understand user needs and preferences.
  2. Invest in an intuitive and user-friendly interface design that makes the service easy to use.
  3. Provide clear instructions, tooltips, and onboarding processes to guide users.

2. Poor Communication

Clear and transparent communication is crucial for users. Services that fail to provide accurate information, updates, or notifications can create confusion, misunderstandings, and frustrations. You can avoid this by:

  1. Maintaining transparent and open communication channels with users through email, social media, or a dedicated forum.
  2. Providing regular updates on upgrades, bug fixes, and service disruptions.
  3. Actively solicit user feedback and address their concerns or suggestions promptly and effectively.

3. Lack of Personalisation

Users often seek personalised experiences that cater to their individual preferences and needs. Services that fail to provide customisation options or relevant recommendations may generate a generic and less engaging user experience. To avoid this, you can:

  1. Implement user profiling and data analysis to understand individual preferences.
  2. Offer customisation options, such as personalised settings or recommendations.
  3. Leverage machine learning algorithms to deliver content and experiences that are relevant to your users.

4. Limited Accessibility

Inaccessible products or services exclude users with disabilities or impairments, hindering their ability to effectively engage with the offerings. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among such users. You should:

  1. Follow accessibility guidelines to ensure your services are inclusive.
  2. Provide alternative formats for content (e.g., captions, transcripts) to accommodate your users with disabilities.
  3. Conduct accessibility audits and usability testing with diverse user groups to identify areas of improvement.

5. Inadequate Support

When users encounter issues or have questions, a lack of timely and effective customer support can be frustrating. Users may feel left unsupported and struggle to find the assistance they need, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. You should do the following:

  1. Establish multiple channels for customer support, such as email, live chat, or phone.
  2. Train your support staff to provide prompt and helpful assistance.
  3. Implement a ticketing or a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and resolve user issues efficiently.


When you listen to your users, you’re able to understand their experiences - whether good or bad - which can guide your design process. You need to consider what they need and want from your service, as well as what they struggle with or dislike about it. From there, you can design services that cater to them. This will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and business success. That’s what human-centred design is all about; putting your customers at the centre of your decision-making process.

If you would like to learn more about this beneficial methodology, reach out to us via email at and together we can co-design services that meet your users where they are.