User Centred Design

User centred design is a design methodology focuses on the user, his needs and expectations in all phases of the product design. This method allows us to make design choices with users in mind and not to proceed for assumptions. The success of this methodology consist of creating products that meet users'needs therefore winner in market competition and able to create loyalty, ROI.

"The reason we focus on customer experience is because it is THE way to drive value for the organization.
This is not about getting better customer satisfaction scores. This is about driving revenue and operating income."
Harvard Business Review                               

IDEO case study

Thanks to IDEO the “User Centered Design” approach has been known and spread all over the world.
We can read a lot of interesting case studies in IDEO reports to understand how UCD works and how effective this method can be.
My favorite case study regards the design and the implementation of drinking water pumps in an Indian village, there wasn’t drinking water and inhabitants had to go to a river far from the village. When the pumps were installed, IDEO designers realized that a girl, Shanti, didn’t use them and she preferred go to the river.

 

To find out why, IDEO designers spent a day with Shanti and discovered that her bowl was too small to contain all the water that the water pump delivered (it wasn't possible to stop them). Therefore the water was wasted and to avoid this, she preferred go to the river. In light of that Ideo designers created  a special “trolley” not only  capable to contain all the water delivered by the pumps but also more comfortable to use.

Takeaway: best solutions come up from the observation of the users who will use the product. Even if we design digital products, Shanti’s story teaches us what it means design with users in our mind to discover their habits and culture; otherwise the risk is to create products that will never be used. The user center design approach helps us to discover new solutions and therefore new business possibilities. I read Shanti story in “Comunicare la user experience” MCLavazza