What is Human-Centred Design?

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Human-centred design (also known as a user-focused approach) is a way of solving problems that starts with real-world users and involves their perspectives at every step of the way. With empathy and curiosity, design teams listen closely and build on users' insights.

The main idea is that the people who actually use a product or service hold the key to making it better. Human-centred design excels at uncovering new opportunities and creating solutions that address real needsdriving customer satisfaction, engagement, and growth.

So, what does human-centred design look like? Rather than prescribing an out-of-the-box product, it's all about taking an outside-in approach:

1. Start Conversations

First, we reach out to people, listen and ask questions. Conversations with users, frontline staff and stakeholders uncover specific needs and help define what success will look like. This initial discovery can include interviews, focus groups, surveys, research, and analytics.

2. Share Prototypes

We collaborate on ideas, bringing the most promising concepts to life. Real, working prototypes make it possible to test key functionality and design elements with users. This way, designers gain concrete insights to ensure success, while saving time and money.

3. Refine Solutions

We quickly iterate, share adjustments, gain feedback, rinse and repeat! Then, we build out the successful solutiontesting and refining it so it is ready to go out into the world. After launch, ongoing feedback helps capitalize on new opportunities to meet users' evolving needs. View our case studies to see these solutions in action. 

By focusing on the right people from the outset, and checking in with them throughout a project, human-centred design helps organizations deliver tried-and-tested solutions that genuinely work for audiences.

To see human-centred design in action, join our quarterly newsletter for a behind-the-scenes look at our latest projects.

"Usability is core to a website design success. While pretty designs are great, if the user cannot navigate throughout the website with ease, the design is not doing its job properly."

Elaine Horon

Upanup Web Designer