Human Centered

The fourteenth and final post in a series about design mindsets.

Humans are inextricably linked to design. You can’t develop a product for a “market.” You have to focus on a real person first. Then, you’ll find that there are similarities between humans.

But if you focus on building something for average people, you won’t come up with anything interesting. It will be too generic. Not informed by the quirks of the human experience.

On paper, your app might be a great idea. On paper there might be a HUGE market for your idea. In reality, it’s a hard to navigate website. People say they would use it, but in the bust blur of every day life, no one has enough time or energy to overcome the learning curve.

When designing an airport arrival gate, a human centered designer pointed out how magical it is when loved ones reconnect after a long time apart. BUT in the airport, the board that displayed flight arrival times was positioned in the opposite direction from where arriving passengers would appear. Thus, if you were an excited parent waiting for your child to come back from their first semester at college, you might have your back turned and be too busy studying the screen. Thus, you miss out on an opportunity for a magic moment.

Moving the screen to the other side is a human centered design decision. That insight wouldn’t come out unless there was a deliberate focus on real people. Never forget that humanity is the key ingredient for any magic moment.