Ben Fehnert - User Centered Design-Led Research Moving towards the Heart of Business Decision Making
To date many organisations starting consumer projects invite design input and involve user-centred researchers and designers at some stage – some at the start, some sooner than later and some really late or beyond late.
CHALLENGE AND ASK HARD QUESTIONS
Ultimately, in utilising UCD, it is important to constantly challenge oneself and others by asking hard questions and continually enhancing and combining UCD knowledge and skills in order to foster innovation. Importantly, while user needs have to be put at the heart of any consumer offering, it is fundamental to first determine what the offering means in business terms.
MAKE USE AND MINDFULLY MIX A WIDER RANGE OF METHODS TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
We have to be open to pick and mix a range of methods in order to answer these questions. For example, a standard interview method carried out in a lab will miss a lot of subtle multi-faceted socio-psychological factors that significantly affect users’ product/service interaction. Sadly, ethnographic methods, able to eliciting subtle behavioural patterns, are sometimes overlooked as too expensive and time-consuming to deploy. In addition, there are promising practices from more formal approaches such as risk and post-market surveillance that can add great benefit to both users and business agenda when applied to smaller agile projects.
A focused and at times tough questioning approach of user and business needs, mindful selection and contextual application of design-led research methods to a cross-section of users and holistic team approach leads to generation of more intuitive approaches and solutions.
In this talk, I will challenge some aspects of common practices and show – through the usage of project examples from telecoms and telehealth – how these approaches lead to better understanding of context, long-term use and a greater ability for design-research to drive broader decision making affecting the end user experience.