Creating a visual presence that is both beautiful and simple enough for anyone to utilize can be an elusive concept. However, it’s not impossible—forward-thinking design studios and brands are putting people back at the center of what they do. They’re making their products more useful, usable, and more attractive too.
Consider the websites you genuinely enjoy browsing. Often enough, the reason these websites are so enticing from a user’s perspective is that they are functional, usable, and solutions-oriented, and aesthetically pleasing. Award-winning design firm IDEO has been driving this practice for years, uniting observations of user
As a design studio, they’ve taken on creative projects geared to tackle large-scale, international challenges like creating a tactile method of kids to learn coding and assisting in the redesign of the breast pump experience. But from web design to disruptive product design, IDEO integrates the concept of human-centered design in every project they take on, and as such, create design solutions that put people first.
What Is Human-Centered Design?
Although aspects of
Human-centered design is a three-pronged, solutions-oriented approach to design that—as its name might tell you—puts people at the center of all design processes. Strategic human-centered design is focused on overcoming challenges faced by a user or a community as a whole, and when applied to
Solution-based design cannot begin without a comprehensive understanding of the problem or challenge at hand. When it comes to design, this process cannot be completed without an honest conversation with all stakeholders and an exploration of the existing obstacles.
Striving for understanding allows designers to weigh perspectives of the business and the end user equitably, which is the base for all well-rounded design.
Now, it’s time to build up that base using thoughtful techniques and switch your imagination into high gear (for all the cyclists out there). Nielsen Norman Group recently shared an immensely interesting article titled Sympathy vs. Empathy in UX, discussing how user experience (UX) developers and designers can be better advocates for users.
Although there is a tangible difference between UX and human-cent
During the brainstorming period, it’s critical to think empathetically about how a person may interact with branding or a website. Realistically, the act of brainstorming can be seemingly unending, but reviewing a thorough list of ideas and taking time to prioritize pragmatic solutions generates space for creativity and revealing the best—and perhaps previously overlooked—possibilities.
Once you’ve jotted down your ideas and landed on some realistic ones, sketching, prototyping, and testing can begin. Ideally, tests will be completed by a typical end user of the branding or website. For remote design studios, designers can consider implementing a user experience testing checklist to ensure the final product will be functional for the people using the product or service.
The final step of human-centered design is delivering and implementing a functional, accessible, and intuitive product. Whether it’s a website or branding, all aspects of the design should be refined to the needs of the target user.
While we were developing our human-centered rebrand (or the identification phase of our
Since then, we’ve taken a deep-dive into
Have you considered integrating human-centered design into your processes, designs, or content? We’d love to hear your approach.