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Customer Centered Design - Briefly Explained


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Is there a silver bullet guaranteed to extend the product lifecycle? In our latest "Briefly explained" series we share the most successful product development strategy used by incumbents to continually grow through incremental innovation.

Roy McBurney talks about what he sees to be the evolution of User centered design into Customer centered and beyond into Human centered design. He explains how customer centered design principles may be broken down into a series of simple steps and suggests a framework that Product Managers may use in approaching a reformation project within their organisation.

Published in: Business, Technology

Customer Centered Design - Briefly Explained

  1. 1. Customer Centered DesignBriefly Explained
  2. 2. 2Want to..“The job of the product manager is tocreate a product that is valuable,useable and feasible”Marty Cagan , Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love
  3. 3. 3Innovate?“First users of a product, rather thanthe manufacturer, are responsible forover 75% of breakthrough inventions”Von Hippel, “LEAD USERS: A Source of Novel Product Concepts,”Management Science, 1986
  4. 4. 4Do things differently?“Design is no longer a discrete stylisticgesture thrown at a project just beforeit is handed off to marketing..”Tim Brown, Change by Design
  5. 5. 5To minimise risk?“..Design is now part of productconception right through toimplementation, and allows acustomer to write the last chapterof the book”Tim Brown, Change by Design
  6. 6. 6And grow.“When the user’s personalgoals are met by the design,business goals are far moreeffectively achieved”Alan Cooper, About Face. The Essentials of Interaction Design
  7. 7. Customer centered design is not fact it’s one of the most successfulmarket-pull strategies used in productdevelopment over the past decade7
  8. 8. It delivers 2 major benefits8
  9. 9. 9Firstly, customer centered design candramatically reduce the risk of failure inmarket.
  10. 10. 10Secondly, your product lifecycle isgreatly extended through incrementalinnovation that meets or exceedscustomer expectations
  11. 11. User,Customer orHumanCentered Design?11
  12. 12. These are three terms used to guide what isessentially the same design process.But there are subtle differences:12
  13. 13. The work of Von Hippel in the lateeighties pioneered the term Lead Useras a design philosophy stating..
  14. 14. 14..that first-time users of a product are in the bestposition to articulate their problems and deriveinnovative solutions to those problems.
  15. 15. 10 years later the design thinking ofauthors Beyer and Holtzblatt madepopular the term customercentered systems..
  16. 16. .. and focused on a subset of the product developmentplanning phases by excluding the build phase
  17. 17. Recently human centered designhas become the buzz word but inreality it simply applies..
  18. 18. .. a set of lenses to same planning phases18
  19. 19. During the Research phase we strive to hearthe voice of the customer. Qualitativeresearch techniques are used to extractgoals, needs and product requirementsdesired by the customer.19
  20. 20. The Concept phase usesthe insights gathered fromResearch to createdesirable, new conceptsthat are validated throughongoing consultation withcustomers.20
  21. 21. Finally the Design phasedelivers a technicallyfeasible and commerciallyviable prototype that meetsthe needs, goals or wants ofthe target customer.21
  22. 22. So, how do I conductresearch on mycustomers’ needs, goalsand desires?22
  23. 23. As a Product Manager you can :Spend time observing your subject matterInterview an individualConduct a group interviewAsk your target market to document their opinionsCross fertilise using solution design from anotherindustryPerform secondary research (leverage existing productdata and subject matter expertise within yourorganisation)
  24. 24. Where is customer centered designmost powerful?Software development for establishedproducts.Incumbent service providers seeking toincrease their net promoter score.Incremental innovation within mature marketseg.Customer Care and HospitalityBanking and Finance24
  25. 25. The Financial Services industry has beenleveraging customer centered design during thepast two decades and their products now scoreconsistently high in customer satisfaction polling.“Financial Services firm USAA earned the highestNPS across all brands and industries examined at87%”Satmetrix 2011 report25
  26. 26. But there are limitations to customercentered design and it is not strictly truethat customers always know what is bestfor them.26Think about productsheralding newtechnology disruptionor radical innovation.
  27. 27. Also, many products operate in a market withminimal opportunity for post sale customerinteraction eg.Fashion industryRetailers“Retail consumer brands would kill for the numberof built-in interactions that your average retail bankalready has with its customers.”27Global marketing strategist, Jonathan Salem Baskin
  28. 28. Whilst customer centered design dominates current UXpractitioner thinking it can prove resource intensive to gatherprimary research.In his 2009 article titled “5 Design Decision Styles” JaredSpool shares design techniques requiring less research thancustomer centered design:2828Less resourceintensiveMore resourceintensive
  29. 29. The key is knowing when to deploy thesetechniques:Unintentional – sometimes good design ispure luck.Self Design – putting yourself in yourcustomer’s shoes.Genius Design – anticipates customer need.Activity Focused – addresses customer tasksrather than needs.Customer Centered – generally perceived tobe the least risky way of delivering successfulinnovation.
  30. 30. In conclusion:The best Product Managers are notonly familiar with the process and toolsof customer centered design but arealso aware of its limitations andembrace innovation through alternatedesign processes when needed.30
  31. 31. Brainmates applies arepeatable ProductDelivery Framework thatembraces innovation.
  32. 32. Connect with Brainmates32Brainmates Group + 61 2 9232 8147