Human-Centered Design Approach

Human-Centered Design Approach

Posted: 12/16/2022

APV’s Human-Centered Design Approach

A user-centered design approach helps concentrate on actual users and helps build entire development lifecycle around their problems. The process eases creating products and services that resonate with the audience’s needs and improve usage and impact in service offerings.

Important aspect is to prioritize user pain points, challenges, choices in every step of the process life cycle. This will help in creating innovative products that are likely to improve user experience, usability and productivity because actual users have already been empowered in the process and have a sense of ownership developed due to close involvement.

Concisely, the core principle of designing with this approach boils down to ‘design with the user’ by keeping the focus on people.

LIFE CYCLE

The User-Centered Design process relies on the following stages to resolve specific problems.

  • Imagination
  • Ideation
  • Implementation and Test

We will discuss the approach and process that must be followed in every step of life cycle. The process can be changed depending upon the type of product that has been developed.

Imagination

We will start learning from users or subject matter experts of the product in the first stage. We take a fresh view about every step user in executing rather than assuming about their thought process or ideas. It will be time-consuming to start with but will yield the best results.

In this phase we find the challenges at hand as the first step. You need to be clear about the obstacle's human-centered product design will be addressing.

Ask yourself questions like, “Who will use this product?” or “What goals are we helping our customers achieve?” Consider the environment, context, and aspirations of your users.

The inspiration phase requires empathy—the capability of understanding another person’s experiences and emotions. We put ourselves in users’ shoes and ask questions to decide what products they are currently using, why and how they are using them, and the challenges they are trying to solve.

For each response, we will get clear ideas about possible outcomes and solutions as it will help us clear the unknowns. We gather maximum information which helps us identify behaviors, challenges, pains of using system/process and to remove obstacles from designing best user experience and improve productivity.

We engaged to develop RPA (Robotic Process Automation) bots for a government agency where staff were involved in a lot of manual work with defined set of processes. During blueprint phase for the automation of the tasks, we realized that some steps could be perfected. We conducted sessions with staff and perfected the process with their help. They liked the process of understanding the challenges upfront so that the solution can be achieved through our facilitation. The result was that the staff were completely engaged with the desired outcome from day one.

Ideation

The Ideation Phase helps make sense of what we have learned in the Inspiration Phase. This phase helps to find opportunities and create the right prototypes.

We start by gathering teams for a brainstorming session and educating them to adapt their thinking to a user’s perspective. The focus and goal is to achieve the one-in-a-million idea through collaborative efforts. We emphasis that no ideas are bad and include all the thoughts in the brainstorming process collectively.

Allowing everyone to speak up and produce ideas is the best way to rediscover and innovate. One benefit of user centered design is co-creation. The co-creation approach allows everyone in the team included, relevant and leads to innovative human-centric thinking.

As we start completing the most workable and practical solution, we start conceptualization and building a prototype, which we can share with stakeholders for collecting respective feedback. A prototype can be a presentation or paper drawing. In some cases, we must develop a quick IT (Information Technology) prototype, which stakeholders can look at for feasibility. The goal is to collect input and evolve the ideas into acceptable solutions in cyclic fashion till everybody on the team is on the same page.

Implementation and Test

The vital part of the human-centered design process is implementation and testing. Now that we know what needs to be done, we implement the ideas and start testing. We emphasize on getting user Feedback at every stage so that we can make quick adjustments. We focus on questions like, “Do the targeted users understand how to use the product?” “Is the user satisfied?” “Does it solve the problem it was designed to be addressed?”

An actual user of the product provides genuine feedback that can help improve prototypes iteratively before launching the product.

The final phase of the process is bringing that ideal solution to productionize it. The process is continual because users’ expectations will continue to evolve. Keeping users at the focal point in the development process ensures continuous innovation and achieving usable product.

APV delivering with User-Centered approach

APV regularly partners with federal agencies and adopts a user-centered design approach in every project. APV has delivered projects featuring our user-centered design approach in various agencies across industries such as Health & Human Services, Fed CIV, and the Department of Defense just to name a few.

We analyze our client’s unique needs and constraints and ensure our customized solutions exceed our client’s expectations in supporting their mission and objectives. APV’s SMEs, HCD Specialists, UI/UX designers, Architects, and programmers apply the right technology to deliver on time and on budget. Validating the final product satisfies the requirements.