User Centered Design? What else.
User centered design, some insights.
We know that the owner will buy the dog bed, so we targeted it when designing a new bed, for example. But good user centered design thinks one step further, and that is the dog itself.
Obviously? Yes right!
In practice this is not always the case. Research shows that more than half of SME companies have little or no knowledge of their customer’s customers.
However, often in the knowledge of the end user are the opportunities to innovate, to distinguish and to take a lead.
Interacting with potential users, trying to discover their (mainly unspoken) frustrations and understanding their desires, provides us with a bombshell of inspiration for designing new products.
Designers are objective in this and are trained to develop a multitude of ideas by enriching only a few consumer insights.
Qualitative research is relatively easy to organise, we use it as a creation tool and it speeds up the process. It enables your team to discover opportunities and test ideas against reality.
Quantitative research is more of a validation process and can be used more at the end of a process to validate more market-oriented choices. Although it never gives any guarantees.
We therefore like to base ourselves on qualitative research. Good interaction with only a few potential users to continuously adjust the design process. Just as it is done in terms of technical feasibility, a good design process is a succession of short iterations, with the aim of successfully designing a new product or packaging.
The importance of visualizing, sketching or working with fast prototypes during the interactions with users is essential to us. Nothing works better than a quick paper prototype, sketch or 3D print to discover flaws in the design process, improve it and refine in co-creation with the user.
Knowing this, what might that new dog bed look like?
Think about how a dog likes to lie? And where? Does it really have to be that soft? Or rather breathable, like straw does well? Did you know that dogs often lie down on the warmest place in the house? This is often in the sun or on a central heating pipe in the floor. And does that basket have to look dog-like, or better attuned to the owner? …
This goes far beyond just beautiful products, shelf presentations, temptation, branding and manufacturability.
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