The Secret to Innovation is Human-Centered Design

Many organizations talk about being innovated but few truly are. Organizations create goods, services, spaces, places, events – experiences – for people. Innovated organizations know this and follow the principles of human-centered design to innovate.

Human-Centered Design, as the name implies, is designing solutions around human. It is the process that innovators like Apple and IDEO follow.

There are six guiding principles of Human-Centered Design:

  1. The design is based upon an explicit understanding of tasks and environments. Journey Maps are great tool to begin this understanding.
  2. The target audience or an accurate representative of this audience is involved throughout the determinations, development and delivery of the design. This is an outside-in approach.
  3. The design is driven and refined by evaluation with the target audience. Prototype your solution and review the experience with your audience.
  4. The process is iterative. Iteration. It’s the key to design, really.
  5. The design addresses the whole experience.
  6. The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.

It really is that simple. Of course, you have to make the investment in the time, resources and skills. There is no return on an investment if you do not make the investment.

To learn more, I recommend IDEO Human-Centered Design Toolkit or Apple Human Interface Guidelines… or read The Customer Experience Revolution.