Human-centered design (HCD) is a problem solving technique that puts real people at the center of the development process. Its methodology results in solutions that are not only efficient and effective, but also considerate of, and empathetic to end users.
Human-centered design (HCD), business centered design, technology-centered design and inclusive design are approaches with differing priorities. The purpose of this article is to help marketers understand how a human centered approach to their campaigns paired with a digital product designed to connect can future-proof their ad outcomes.
HCD is an approach which prioritizes the needs, constraints, context, behavior and perspectives of the people who will use a product, service, or system. An important note: the term ‘use’ is relative here. Replacing ‘use’ with a term more contextually relevant to your marketing initiative such as ‘purchase, subscribe, view’ might be helpful.
HCD is based on the idea that the design process should start by understanding the people who will be impacted by the solution, and then iteratively designing, testing, and refining the solution based on user feedback. The data gathered should then be used to inform and guide the design of both physical spaces and digital products, services and experiences.
In Gartner’s 2021 Digital Transformation Divergence Across Government Sectors Survey, 54% of respondents indicated deploying HCD and another 30% put their timelines within three years.
In HCD, user experience (UX) and UI designers use a range of research and design methods, including ethnography, user interviews, prototyping, and testing, to gain insights into the needs, behaviors, and contexts of the users (real people) they’re designing for. This allows teams like ours to create solutions that are not only technologically sound, but are also usable, accessible, and desirable for their intended audience and our client’s business outcome. By involving end-users and other stakeholders in the design process, HCD helps to ensure that the solution being built meets the needs of everyone who will be impacted by it.
A key aspect of HCD is iterative design. Rather than trying to get everything right on the first try, HCD encourages designers to continuously test and refine their solutions based on feedback from end users. This helps ensure that the final solution is truly tailored to the needs of the user the product is intended for, rather than just being a product laden with the designer’s assumptions or biases.
“It is about them and for them. The closer the end-users’ needs are analyzed and answered, the more successful the adoption or purchase of a solution. You iterate until you get it right from a customer perspective. This the power of HCD.” – Olivier Delarue, UNHCR
When designing for multicultural audiences, it becomes even more important to employ an HCD approach, as differences in cultural background alone can result in varying needs, perspectives, and behaviors.
Sidebar: Designing for multicultural audiences requires a thoughtful and inclusive approach which takes into account the diverse backgrounds, cultures, and lived experiences of the intended user. At this point, we can bet the success of a digital product or experience on its relevancy to a diverse set of users. Lacking relevancy to a diverse set of users can make or break the success of a product, and ad campaign.
With over more than two-thirds of the world’s population using mobile phones, advertisers must make considerations for age, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, cultural norms, geography, socioeconomic status, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientation and gender identity, political beliefs, values and opinions and the millions of variable intersections.
Inclusive design goes far beyond minimum accessibility standards. Inclusive design is not just about making products accessible to people with disabilities. It is about considering the needs of all users and creating solutions that are useful to everyone.
Focusing primarily on the people/customer/consumer/user, the goal of inclusive design is to develop products, services, environments and experiences which are usable and accessible to as many people as possible.
Inclusive design accounts for a wide range of demographical factors such as age, culture, gender, language, and physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities, access to technology and aims to create designs that are usable, accessible, and meaningful for everyone. This can involve a wide range of design considerations, from the physical design of products, to the utility, usability and accessibility of digital interfaces, to the inclusiveness of consumer facing content, store design and even internal organizational practice.
Human-centered design powers ad campaign outcomes
HCD can be used to create powerful ad campaigns and has the potential to revolutionize the advertising industry. By taking a human-centered approach to the campaign planning, HCD helps advertisers clearly understand the motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of their target audiences, and how they can leverage those insights into the creation of hyper-relevant ads, stronger engagement and increased conversion rates.
For example, through user research and testing, an advertiser might discover their target audience is particularly sensitive to privacy concerns and therefore may want to focus on emphasizing the security and privacy features of their digital interface or product. Another advertiser might learn that their target audience is motivated by personalization, spending more than 40% on average when these features guide their product discovery and may decide to change the way their product pages are displayed to customers.
This is where advertisers gain a lot of value in working with a digital product development studio. Incorporating HCD into advertising campaigns can lead to better ad designs, allowing advertisers to craft messages that resonate with their target audiences, while also taking into account the different ways in which people experience and engage with the brand’s advertising content across channels and platforms.
Specialists in Human-Centered Design
Miroma Project Factory specializes in gamification, human centered strategy, and storytelling. Our human centered approach to design allows our team to innovate to our client’s core end users, giving us the ability to deliver an expansive array of immersive, groundbreaking digital products.
Because we place human intent at the intersection of insight, creativity and impact – story, outcomes and end users drive us.
Our clients often come to us for our expertise in building digital products essential to scalable revenue growth – the development of an MVP, website, e-commerce store, e-commerce optimization, interoperability, web-based or native applications, innovation strategy, UX/UI design, future-proofing with CX strategy, interactive content, and the flexibility we offer product and marketing teams through boost capacity.