Every business owner, CEO, product owner, or CTO must find the right product development strategy that works for their business.
There are various product development strategies, and none provides a one size fits all solution for product management and development.
Nonetheless, one product development strategy has proven to be more successful than the others: the humancentric product development strategy.
The humancentric product development strategy focuses on the customer’s needs and delivering a product that meets those needs.
It’s a customer-centric approach to product development that puts the customer at the centre of everything we do.
To succeed in today’s competitive market, you must adopt a humancentric product development strategy.
What Is Humancentric Product Development?
A humancentric product development strategy is a set of principles and methods that focus on the user’s needs when designing and developing a product. This strategy considers the user’s wants, limitations, and context when creating products.
Humancentric product development aims to create practical, pleasurable, and valuable products that improve the user’s life.
Humancentric product development is rooted in the principle that users should be involved in the design and development process from beginning to end. This involvement ensures that the final product meets their needs and expectations.
This approach originates in human-centred design (HCD), a field of study that examines the user’s experience when interacting with products. Designers need to understand how people interact with the environment and what their needs and wants are.
They also need to understand the user’s limitations, such as physical or cognitive abilities. Finally, designers must also solicit feedback at every stage of development, from initial brainstorming to final testing.
Why Is Humancentric Design Important?
Human psychology is a complex and ever-changing field. As our understanding of the human mind evolves, so does our ability to design more user-friendly products.
There are many benefits to using a humancentric design approach when developing new products.
Some of the benefits of humancentric design include:
- Improved user experience: We can design more user-friendly and enjoyable products by understanding how users think and feel.
- Increased sales: User-friendly products are more likely to be successful in the marketplace.
- Improved customer satisfaction: When customers are happy with a product, they are more likely to continue using it and recommend it to others.
- Enhanced brand reputation: A company with a reputation for making user-friendly products is more likely to be trusted and respected by consumers.
In fact, our Mike Saunders wrote an entire book about the importance of a humancentric strategy.
How To Develop A Humancentric Product In 4 Steps
Designing a humancentric product is a process that helps you generate new ideas by putting yourself in the shoes of your target user.
To get started, follow these four steps:
Step 1: Inspiration – Ask The Right Questions
The biggest mistake you can make when starting the HCD process is not asking the right questions. To generate truly innovative ideas, you need to think outside the box and challenge your assumptions about what users want.
The best way to do this is to ask open-ended questions that encourage creative thinking. Some of the questions you should ask include:
- What are our users’ unmet needs?
- What are our users’ pain points?
- How can we make our product more user-friendly?
Different techniques such as brainstorming, SWOT analysis, and mind mapping can also help generate new ideas. The key is to keep your mind open and think of as many possibilities as possible.
Step 2: Reaction – Feedback Is Essential
Feedback is a luxury, especially if you work at breakneck speeds with tight deadlines. However, in-person conversations with users are essential to the HCD process.
You can validate or invalidate your assumptions through feedback and get first-hand insights into what users want.
Ask participants to provide feedback on every aspect of the product, from the user interface to the overall experience. Be sure to encourage them to be as specific as possible. Avoid dismissing feedback outright; even if an idea seems impossible to implement, it could still lead to a breakthrough.
Step 3: Implementation – Build Minimum Viable Products
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a product development strategy that helps you validate your ideas with users as quickly and cheaply as possible.
MVP aims to create a stripped-down version of your product with just enough features to be usable. This way, you can get feedback from real users and make changes before investing too much time or money in the product.
Building an MVP doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. As long as you address the core needs of your target user, you can create a working prototype in no time.
Step 4: Collaboration – Design In A Team
Try to articulate your ideas to someone else in sketches or words as much as possible.
Collaborators inevitably bring fresh perspectives to the table and help you think of things you would have never thought of on your own. They also help you catch errors in your thinking and improve the overall quality of your ideas.
Always bring a sense of ownership and responsibility to the table. For instance, instead of saying “my idea is to do X”, say “our idea is to do X”. This will help create a sense of unity and purpose within the team. Never claim credit for someone else’s idea; this will only breed resentment.
Humancentric Design Matters
In today’s saturated market, people have become savvy consumers who know what they want. They are no longer willing to put up with products that are difficult to use or don’t meet their needs.
Applying a humancentric design approach to product development is essential if you want to design products that people love to use.
Humancentric design ensures the right content, features, and functionality are implemented at the right time, in the right way, and a manner sensitive to users’ needs.
At Digitlab, we can help you implement a humancentric design approach to product development. If you want the experts on your side, contact us today and partner with the best.