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The Importance Of Human-Centered Design Solutions In A Digital Transformation

For the last decades, businesses have been re-imagining themselves using digital transformation to modify their business processes, culture, and user experiences.

The transformation process worldwide—the integration of digital technology into all business areas—had been more or less steady worldwide before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and left the global market no choice but to digitize and adapt to the circumstances.

The Importance Of Human-Centered Design Solutions In A Digital Transformation: eAskme
The Importance Of Human-Centered Design Solutions In A Digital Transformation: eAskme

What is Human-Centered Design in Digital Transformation?

Human-centered design (HCD) or design-thinking is an approach to problem-solving that involves the human perspective by focusing on the users, their needs, and requirements and applying human factors and usability knowledge.

What is Human-Centered Design in Digital Transformation: eAskme

This methodology improves human well-being, user satisfaction, accessibility, and sustainability in terms of technology development.

Steve Jobs has defined the human-centered design clearly: "You've got to start with the customer or employee experience, and work backward toward the technology—not the other way around."

A similar approach applies to all areas of activity; for example, digital transformation in healthcare also concerns human orientation.

Why Is Human-Centered Design Important?

The technology used to be driven by engineers, who would release the latest technology breakthrough and tell the end-users which new devices and features they needed.

We might sometimes observe that digitalization is prioritized while the most important element of human-centered solutions is left behind: the people.

Putting less thought into people's needs might result in poor user experience and processes for the people that will interact with the product or service.

Why Is Human-Centered Design Important: eAskme

The times have changed vastly, and the modern audience is the one who dictates rules and expects the technology to serve their specific needs.

That is why successful digital transformations put the customer at the center of the design process.

In doing so, it searches for opportunities to integrate human needs with technology capabilities and business goals.

To put it shortly, the human-centered design stands on cultivating deep empathy with the people you're designing for and collaborating with.

This design-thinking approach incorporates putting people first when generating ideas, building prototypes, and releasing innovative solutions out in the world.

The importance of applying design thinking to product development cannot be underestimated. Research conducted by Boston Consulting Group in 2020 found that 70% of transformations ruin their prospects due to a lack of proper design around the human experience.

Often companies make assumptions about their end-users without truly knowing what they want or need and then move forward with implementing new projects, relying on the way that has always worked out before.

Creating products without involving the end consumer and not asking the right questions is a recipe for failure.

The investigative phase of user research is a critical component of the human-centered design process.

It is the stage of the development where carefully formulated questions reveal users' problems and potential solutions before creating the technology.

Design-thinking is the tool that leads to successful products that solve real-world problems for people.

How to Get Started on the Human-Centered Digital Transformation?

Research:

As HCD is aimed to gain a deep and clear understanding of users' and customers' needs and behavior, research is the first and foremost stage of digital transformation.

It can be done through quantitative research: gathering data via customer surveys, analyzing websites, and application analytics.

However, no matter how successfully the quantitative research is conducted, nothing can bring such a true understanding of the underlying motivations and pain points as in-depth one-on-one interviews.

Another option would be semi-structured group discussions.

This research should result in user and customer personas or customer journey maps.

Customer Journey Map:

A customer journey map is a visual storyline of every customer's engagement with a product or a service.

Creating a journey map helps the designer team identify what they are doing right, what they may be missing, and what improvements can be made across the customer lifecycle.

For instance, the phases might include Awareness —> Acquisition —> Service. At each phase, customer expectations, experiences, actions, questions, and pain points are documented to discover the real truth of customers' experiences.

Owning the information about the customers' pain points helps decide on what technologies or functionality to prioritize to succeed in the digital transformation.

Employee Buy-In:

Successful digital transformations require employee buy-in—relied on empathy, of course—to provide customers with desired experiences.

As human-centered thinking implies genuine care of all the stakeholders, meeting the needs of employees is also crucial.

Employees have to be able to see the role of their actions contributed to this new digital environment and must have a purpose to believe in.

The methodology of design-thinking brings the uncertainty of an employee's value into focused view by building a direct channel between provider and user, allowing employees to become familiar with the people they are solving for, to gain empathy for their unique situations, and realize the value of the activities they are performing.

Using a human-centered approach means empathy will guide a meaningful path towards digital transformation, listening, understanding, and appealing to people's hearts rather than simply implementing digitization for better financial results.

Transparency:

Transparency and empathy are key drivers to forming all product partnerships.

To start genuine communication across your company, you might be willing to hold workshops for employees, customers, and stakeholders.

By being transparent and honest, you can successfully discuss what is going well and what improvements are required.

The clear and timely conversation is a priceless tool on the way to successful digital transformation.

Conclusion:

A successful digital transformation can be easier said than done.

However, using design-thinking mindsets and tools will ensure that the audience will receive a solution that addresses their specific needs, key stakeholders will get a high-quality solution, and the solution itself is developed to be both viable and desirable.

Succeed companies use a human-centered design methodology to help customers tune in to their companies' challenges through digital transformation.

As a result, they ensure their customers have the tools they need to implement their digital transformation and drive future innovation.

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