Interactive Computing Weekly Diary
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2020-01-24 15:52:08 (UTC)

Week 2 - Human-Centric Design

This week we study Human-Centric Design and how to create an impactful design.

To summarize, designing must start from the human: the target users. The art of Human-Centric design is that you don't start on the technical aspect. Ask as many questions as possible to find out more insights that will lead to the real problem. Then you can develop potential solutions to the real problem to be delivered to the user.

This is the Divergent-Convergent thinking method. Working in this manner have a higher chance of acceptance than the normal approach of Linear Thinking (do whatever they told you to do), and also much more impactful.

Speaking of impactful design, it must be:
1) Effective. People use Spotify because it could effectively replace the old-fashioned way everyone uses to access music (from purchasing-based to subscription-based). Remember that no one will use it if it doesn't work.
2) Aesthetically pleasing. You have to admit that while functionality is important. It's outside look must be acceptable too. Apple products are a great example of this.
3) Creative. Extraordinary problems require extraordinary solutions. Making a ketchup bottle upside-down to make it easier to pour or removing door handles for push side are just some examples that hard problems could be solved with creativity.
4) Clever. For instance, HelloFresh found an opportunity when they realized people are struggling with grocery shopping and finding recipes to cook. So they create a service that offers "Meal Kits" which includes ingredients and recipes for cooking a meal in a nice subscription plan.

Creating a design that is impactful might be taunting, but can easily be achieved by:
1) Finding the user's needs. Find what they really need. Find them before they even know what they need. No one wants a touchscreen phone until the iPhone came out. Everyone rents movies at a store until Netflix demonstrated they don't have to. These are called "latent needs", by the way.
2) Knowing the characteristics and abilities of the user. Common TV remotes and grandmas are probably not a good match, but it doesn't need to be that way. A deep insight into targeted users is invaluable in determining the direction of your design.
3) Finding the user's desires and motivations. People do something because of reasons. Finding what stimulates them might lead to something important. But don't forget about the emotional part since sometimes people do something without reasons as well.
4) Knowing the context. Think thoroughly about the whole environment your product might be in. Walmart thought lower prices will work everywhere and failed in Japan because the culture there associated that with low quality.

TLDR: Focus on the targeted users, then deliver with a solution that is impactful.