Everybody is trying to create products that make people’s lives better. However, by simply focusing on metrics, rather than the humans behind them, we risk making bad decisions that have unintended consequences for people and society. To be better, Kim explained how we need to focus on creating features that meet some of people’s needs, as defined by Maslow. Once we do this, we can ensure our teams become goal focussed, values guided and data informed, rather than trying to steer the ship just by looking at the speed dials.
First, let’s be explicit about what human-centred design means. By using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can create a set of factors to drive with our decisions.
We should try to build something that supports at least one of Maslow’s hierarchy for a group of humans. This must also not be at the cost of another group’s needs.
Let’s be goal-focused, values-guided, and data-informed, rather than data-driven.
Goals then are what you’re trying to achieve. Values tell us what solutions are not acceptable, along with the boundaries of those that are. For example, if you want to buy a house, you can decide to save money or rob a bank. Both will get you a new home, but one is unacceptable because of the values that most of us have.
Your teams need to create these values for themselves, and these values can then guide the decisions being made in complex circumstances.
How can we Build Human-Centred Products
About Kim Goodwin
Kim Goodwin, bestselling author of Designing for the Digital Age, has more than 20 years of both consulting and in-house UX experience. Recently she began serving as VP of Product and User Experience at PatientsLikeMe, a medical research platform and a social and decision-support network for patients. Kim also continues to help other organizations build their internal design capabilities through coaching and organizational change management.
Previously, Kim was VP of Design & General Manager at Cooper, a leading design and strategy agency in San Francisco. During her 12 years there, Kim led an integrated practice of interaction, visual, and industrial designers. She also led development of the acclaimed Cooper U design curriculum.
Kim has led design and research projects in such diverse areas as health care, aviation, retail, communication, financial services, consumer, automotive, IT and others. She regularly speaks and teaches at UX conferences around the world. Although based near San Francisco, Kim is often in another time zone either “herding cats” in a conference room or photographing wildlife in places where Internet access doesn’t exist.