How does it Work?
Process and Deliverables
Every design process is unique, and so before any project, I create a detailed proposal based on your specific needs. However, there are some general principles that apply to most projects.
People-centred design starts with the customer.
1. Get the customers in early
The best time to involve your customers into your design process, is at the beginning: ideally, before you even have a design process. By listening and learning from customers before you have a specific product idea, there is no risk of looking at the situation with blinders on. It's like the old expression, "When all you have is a hammer, all you can see is nails."
It's never too early to involve the customer.
2. Get out of the office
Visiting with customers in their own environment, either at work or at home is crucial for gathering relevant and useful material. It avoids the artificial nature of focus groups, and helps to ensure that we get rich, authentic details from which to build design ideas on.
Combined with video, visits out in the field, are an efficient and effective way to bring insights from the customers into your design team.
3. Involve the whole design team
Customers have a unique perspective: they see the entire product. From advertisting, distribution, packaging, instructions, storage, use and disposal. As a result, their stories and experiences with a product, are relevant to the whole design team.
I typically organize workshops where the design team analyzes video and data from the field, and collectively brainstorms new ideas and develops a plan of action.
Early visits to customers help make sure that we're solving the right problem. Later visits help to verify that we are solving it in an appropriate way.
Designing a product is all about making decisions, and keeping the design team educated about the customer through the process helps them to make more enlightened and informed decisions.
Details of how people-centred design was used can be found in two sample projects below.