As a business owner, your main goal (other than profit of course) should be to sell high-quality products or services to your customers. The tricky part is creating these products and services in a way that looks good and also solves your customers problems. So how do you avoid falling into the product-centric trap of designing products or services with little-to-no regard for the consumer, and find that balance? The answer is human-centred design.
In recent years, human-centred design (HCD) has gained widespread popularity in the business world as a way to drive innovation and solve complex problems. HCD is all about designing products, services and experiences that are responsive to the needs and desires of users.
There are many different applications of human-centred design (HCD) in modern business. Some common examples include:
- Product design
Human-centered design can be used to create a wide range of products, from consumer goods to industrial equipment. By understanding the needs and desires of the user, businesses can create products that are intuitive, easy to use, and meet the needs of the target market.
- Service design
This application of human-centred design involves improving the customer experience and creating more efficient and effective service processes.
For example, PharmAccess Foundation launched MomCare in 2017 - a digital financial solution that enabled pregnant women to access quality healthcare. We helped them conduct HCD research so we could understand the challenges women and the health providers who serve them face during their pregnancy journey. This enabled them to redesign their customer service process to make it more convenient and efficient for customers.
- Experience design
This application of design thinking involves creating engaging and immersive experiences for customers, such as in retail environments or digital platforms. For example, a business might use design thinking to create a more engaging website or mobile app for their customers.
Human-centered design can be used to tackle a wide range of business challenges, from developing new products to streamlining internal processes. By considering the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders, businesses can create solutions that are effective, efficient, and desirable.
Now that you have a general idea of how human-centred design can be applied in different types of businesses, let’s take a look at more specific examples in a Kenyan business context:
In Kenya, human-centred design has been used to develop innovative solutions for improving healthcare delivery in underserved communities. A good example that we mentioned earlier was that of MomCare by PharmAccess Foundation. By understanding the needs and challenges faced by pregnant women and healthcare providers, they were able to create a solution that was both effective and desirable for users.
Human-centred design can also be used to improve the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural practices in Kenya. For example, a team of design thinkers used this approach to develop a low-cost irrigation system that uses recycled plastic bottles to provide water to crops. By considering the needs and constraints of small-scale farmers, they were able to create a solution that was both effective and affordable.
In the education sector, human-centred design has been used to develop more engaging and effective learning experiences for students. For example, one team used design thinking to create a mobile app that helps students learn math skills through interactive games and challenges. By understanding the needs and preferences of students, they were able to create a solution that was both fun and educational.
These are just a few examples that prove that when you design with human-centred principles, you incorporate empathy into your design process. Human-centred design requires you to understand why people do what they do, and then design solutions that address those problems or goals. By focusing on the needs and desires of users, this approach can help businesses in any industry create solutions that are both functional and desirable.
Human-centred design is a versatile and powerful approach that can be applied in any industry, to any type of problem. If you're interested in learning more about how human-centred design can help your business, don't hesitate to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help you unlock the full potential of this powerful approach so you can find that sweet-spot of aesthetics and intuition that your users want and need.