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The Role of Human-Centred Design in Creating Inclusive & Accessible Digital Products

How inclusive and accessible are your digital products? Do they cater to the specific needs, pain points and preferences of your target audience? 

These questions lie at the heart of a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of business; the design of digital products with a focus on the user.

Increasingly, businesses are turning to human-centred design, recognizing its vital role in creating digital products that truly meet the needs of users. 

It’s the key factor that not only attracts users to your site but also retains their engagement and loyalty.

Continue reading to discover how you can enhance user satisfaction through a human-centred design approach.

What is human-centred design?

 

understanding human-centered design

 

 

Human-centred design is a problem-solving technique that puts real people at the centre of the development process. 

The goal is to keep users’ wants, pain points, and preferences front of mind during every phase of the process. 

By doing so, you can build more intuitive, accessible products that are more likely to be adopted by users.

The Process of Creating a Human-Centered Design

 

stages of human-centred design

 

We’ll guide you through some of the key stages of the human-centred design process, further exploring each step in detail and providing practical tips for creating user-centric designs.

1. Empathise

 Empathy works well when you want to have a deep understanding of the users’ needs, desires and possible challenges.

To develop empathy for the target audience, methods such as user interviews, observations, and empathy mapping may be used to gather insights.

Practical tip: To uncover underlying needs, brands should directly engage with users, listen actively, and ask open-ended questions.

2. Define

In this stage, insights gathered during the empathise stage are synthesised to identify user needs and define design opportunities.

So, how are the insights synthesised?

The insights are filtered into clear design objectives and defining success criteria for the project.

Practical tip: Use tools such as user personas, journey maps, and problem statements to articulate user needs and design goals effectively.

3. Ideate

Ideation is a creative process where designers gather with open minds to generate a wide range of possible solutions to address the defined design challenges.

Techniques such as brainstorming, sketching, and mind mapping are used to gather ideas in a facilitated, judgement-free environment.

Practical tip: Encourage divergent thinking, suspend judgment, and prioritize quantity over quality during ideation sessions to foster creativity.

4. Prototype

Prototyping involves creating tangible representations from paper to digital, the aim is to capture and test design concepts.

Prototypes can range from low-fidelity sketches and wireframes to high-fidelity mockups and interactive prototypes.

Practical tip: Start with low-fidelity prototypes to gather feedback early and iterate rapidly. Gradually increase fidelity as the design evolves.

5. Test

The testing stage involves identifying techniques, scenarios, data, cases and the expected results.

User testing sessions, usability studies, and A/B testing are used to identify usability issues and validate design decisions.

While understating how to conduct a design test is vital, identifying the right testing tool is equally important.

Practical tip: Involve users throughout the testing process, observe their behaviour, and listen to their feedback without bias. Iterate based on findings to refine the design further.

Importance of Human-Centred Design

 

benefits of human-centred design

 

Change is inevitable, and so are customers’ behaviours and expectations which are evolving rapidly.

Remaining competitive in the market requires taking action that prioritises your customers’ needs and adapts to meet their expectations.

Here are some of the benefits of designing human-centred products and services.

User Satisfaction

Human-centred design prioritises the needs of users. Therefore, a brand that designs products or services that align with user preferences, behaviours, and goals will ultimately record high user satisfaction levels.

When users feel that a product or service has been designed to address their specific needs and challenges, they are more likely to express satisfaction.

Improved Usability

The ease of accessing or using a product or service is a core focus of human-centred design. 

Brands can improve usability through user research, testing, and interactive design processes.

In the long run, it enhances user experience, reduces frustration and creates a more successful interaction with the product or service.

Cost Saving

The costs of rework and product failure can be staggering and unmanageable for businesses.

However, by involving users early and often in the design process, brands can identify potential issues and opportunities for improvement before significant resources are invested. 

Additionally, businesses can reduce the likelihood of costly post-launch modifications or fixes by creating products that meet user needs.

Increased Usage

Services or products that are designed with the user in mind are likely to be adopted and used consistently.

By understanding user motivations and behaviours, human-centred design helps identify opportunities to enhance the product or service in ways that encourage continued usage and loyalty.

Competitive Advantage

There’s a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace when products or services are created with the user in mind.

Brands can further stay ahead in the industry by continuously bettering their digital products based on user feedback and market insights.

Conclusion – A Human-Centred Design Approach is What Your Customers Need

make your digital products human-centred

 

It’s now evident that human-centred design is not only about understanding the needs, preferences and challenges of a user but also addressing their pain points timely.

Businesses can save on cost, increase customer satisfaction, and enhance product or service usability while creating a stronger connection with their customers.

Planning to design a game-changing app, or website or revamp your digital presence?

Growthpad Digital Consulting is here to help. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how our tailored solutions can drive growth, through accessible and inclusive digital products and services.

Growthpad Digital Consulting
Growthpad Digital Consulting
We are a digital media and tech consulting firm headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with operations across East Africa. E: [email protected]   P: +254 701 850 850

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