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The Benefits of Human‑Centered Design in Website Creation

Human‑centered design encourages you to put users first and make empathic design choices, leading to better results. Read on to learn more.

Human-centered design can put your customers at the forefront of your business by providing products and services that meet their needs.

You should consider your target audience when developing a new product or website. Without customers, your business can't succeed, and to get those customers, you must create products they want or need.

Human-centric design is part of the creative process that allows you to address your customers' pain points and keep their wants and needs at the front of your design process — whether you're developing new products or building a website.

So what is human-centered design? Modern website design goes beyond functionality. Human-centered design methods enable you to draw from customer feedback and data to create products customers love and learn new ways to help lead them down the funnel. But what does this mean for your business? This design method allows you to tailor your products and services to your audience, thus increasing revenue.

Keep reading or learn more about human-centered design, including its benefits, how it works, and best practices.

Understanding human-centered design

Human-centered design allows you to develop products and services based on empathy and creativity. When designing a website, you must consider the people who will use the website and why. For instance, is the goal of your website to sell products? If so, your customers will use it to purchase items that solve their common pain points.

Using human-centered design in the creative process, whether you're utilizing it for product or website development, makes you consider the core issues, wants, and needs of your target audience.

To truly understand the desires of your target audience, you must put yourself in their shoes and get creative with a solution that solves their everyday problems.

To help you better understand this approach, let's consider a few human-centered design examples using brands you probably already know:

  • Spotify: Spotify flipped the music purchasing business on its head by allowing individuals to listen to their favorite artists and songs for free. They empathized with their target audience because purchasing CDs and digital music files became expensive. The cost was a huge pain point for consumers previously purchasing music, which led to individuals downloading songs illegally. With Spotify, members pay a flat fee to use their services without buying each song individually.
  • PayPal app: The PayPal app provides a simple online payment solution for businesses and individuals. When you log into the app, you'll see a summary of your most recent transactions, including your total balance and where the money came from. The app's design also has easily understandable icons that improve navigation without getting in the way of the information customers are looking for.
  • Netflix: Many of us remember renting a movie, but now you can watch television shows, movies, and so much more for a flat fee every month, thanks to Netflix and streaming companies like it. Netflix is a human-centered business from product to app and delivers on its promises.

What do all these brands have in common? They solved common customer pain points using empathy and creativity.

Human-centered design principles differ from simple web design principles because they refer to a broader range of products and services. Plus, the approach considers the humans who use the products, their wants, and their needs. But, of course, both are critical elements of web design, so it's crucial to understand this design process to improve your user experience design.

Phases of the human-centered design process

The human-centered design process requires an in-depth understanding of your target audience and their pain points or needs and wants. The human-centered design process consists of 4 crucial phases, which you'll use whether you design a product, service, or website.

Clarify

The first phase of human-centric design is to learn about your target audience and collect data. Market research is essential for any business because it helps you understand the individuals most likely to purchase your products and services.

Instead of assuming your audience has specific pain points, preferences, or needs, you should put yourself in their shoes. As mentioned earlier, empathy is a primary component of human-centric design. You'll need empathy to gain insight into your customers, their perspectives, and their current challenges.

During the clarify phase, you'll discover your customers' pain points and learn about their experiences with your products, how they use them, and what challenges they need to solve. Your customers can tell you their pain points, but it's up to you to understand them and create solutions.

You should ask your customers questions directly to know how they feel. However, you must first have a basic understanding of your target audience. For instance, if you're creating a website or app for digital marketers to track their campaign performance, you should know what tools they're currently using and their pain points.

In those cases, try the tools they're utilizing to learn more about their specific pain points. You should also consider factors like age, expertise, and job function to ensure you obtain data from the right sample of people.

During the clarify stage, you'll need to conduct research, including interviews, focus groups, or survey questionnaires, to learn about your target audience and understand their common challenges.

Ideate

After learning about your customers and collecting data, you can pinpoint their most common challenges. In human-centric design, this is the brainstorming stage that allows you to take what you've learned in the clarify step and use it to solve your customers' pain points.

You'll want to look at the different types of problems your target audiences face and find new ways to solve them.

At this point, you might have a lot of data and more questions for customers. However, what's most important is identifying the main issues they're facing and synthesizing the data you have available to create as many solutions as possible. Finding themes in the information you've collected is one of the most effective ways to begin understanding your customers' pain points and brainstorming ways to address them.

Develop

After the ideation phase comes development, in which you evaluate concepts you've brainstormed and try to find the best potential solutions for your target audience's pain points. This is the phase where you'll determine whether your potential solutions will make sense for your business.

To determine whether your ideas will work, you should consider whether they fulfill the customers' needs and if there's a market for them. Additionally, you'll want to ensure your idea is possible, ensuring your organization can make it happen. And finally, your solution should make the business more profitable.

Next, you can start prototyping to determine the best way to develop your solution. Prototypes can be used to help you understand whether your solution will work, what it will look like, and how customers implement it in their lives. You can prototype a website using graphic design tools or sketches.

Implement

The implementation phase of human-centric design involves testing and refining your website design based on feedback. During this stage, you can gather customer feedback from the individuals you interviewed in the first stage, helping you get key insight into whether your solution meets their needs.

Once you've determined that your solution is effective, you can fully implement it and take it to market. However, it's important to remember that your product, whether it's a website, app, or consumer good, is never fully complete. Companies should consistently test, improve, and gather customer feedback to ensure their product meets their needs even as priorities and demands change.

What are the differences between human-centered design and user-centered design?

Human-centered design and user-centered design may sound the same. Every site you visit is used by humans, also called users, and requires website maintenance that enhances usability. Both human and user-centered design involves learning about your target audience to develop a website that meets customer needs.

These 2 types of product and web design approaches are similar. However, user-centric design typically focuses on the less emotional side of website design by learning how the website will be used. On the other hand, human-centric design considers the customer's emotions, focusing on more than the functionality of a website.

Human and user-centered approaches can affect all aspects of your business, from product development to marketing, and they're a crucial part of the overall user experience.

Why is human-centered design important for website creation?

All websites have a purpose. For instance, an e-commerce website aims to sell products or subscriptions, while a service website helps your business sell services. While they might have different features, both types of websites require human-centered design tailored to your customers' needs. Doing so can help guide them through the customer journey and convince them to take action.

A human-centered design approach can help you attract, convert, and retain customers, but what does this really mean for your business? Here are a few key benefits of human-centered design for websites:

Understand the needs of your customers

Believe it or not, many companies fail because they don't fully understand their target audiences. These organizations may have determined there's a need for their products or services, but they don't actually learn about the humans who will use them.

Human-centered design for websites can help you gather the information you need to step into your target audience's shoes and understand their needs, wants, and pain points. By better understanding your customers, you can tailor your solutions to their demands and solve problems affecting them.

Better product development

User-centered design is utilized in product development to help companies learn about their target audience and think and feel like them. You can use everything you know about your customers' wants, needs, pain points, and preferences to develop better products.

For instance, let's say you develop an inventory management system (IMS). You can learn about your target audience's pain points with their current software providers by interviewing them. You might find that they wish their inventory system would integrate with their accounting software to help them track sales and purchase orders. With this knowledge, you can create an implementation or a unique feature to address that pain point.

Improved marketing campaigns

Human-centered design goes beyond product development and can help you improve other aspects of your business, such as marketing and sales.

Your website is a marketing tool, and with human-centered design, you can develop a solution rather than a series of static pages.

What does your target audience want to know about your products and services before they make a purchase? Understanding their pain points allows you to develop better website pages that highlight your unique product offering, its features, and its benefits in a way that resonates with customers.

Your website should answer the question, "Is this the best product or way of doing something?" Then, with a human-centered approach, you can begin tailoring your marketing messages to reach and convert new customers.

Increased brand loyalty

Human-centered design isn't a marketing approach; it's a business approach to meeting consumer expectations and demands, which leads to increased brand loyalty. Focusing on your target audience can increase brand loyalty by showing your customers that you care about their needs, wants, and pain points.

Continuous innovation and learning about your customers and their experiences through feedback enables you to improve your design, which can increase brand loyalty because it shows you care. A more human-centric approach can also help you build a more valuable connection with your customers.

Leadership

To be the leader in any market, you must consider your customers. Your favorite brands thrive because they have a human-centered approach that enables them to continuously improve their products and services. A human-centered website can position your brand as a leader in the industry by meeting your customers' expectations.

Sales and profits

All the previous benefits add up to 2 important components of a business: sales and profits. A human-centric design can boost sales and profits because it helps you create more effective marketing campaigns, develop products and websites that meet customer expectations, solve common pain points, and increase brand loyalty.

By continually focusing on your customers, you can form better bonds and show them that you're listening to create better quality products, websites, and services that align with their needs.

How to use human-centered design in your business

People are at the heart of any human-centered design approach. The human-centered design will ensure you develop innovative products that solve your customers' pain points while providing a superior user experience. Here's how you can get started with human-centered design:

Start a dialogue with your customers

You won't know what your website or product users are thinking until you ask them. Unfortunately, many businesses are so eager to start selling products or increasing website traffic that they never consider the end user.

Talk to your customers and prospective clients by inviting them to tell you about their experiences with the products they currently use. This allows you to gather feedback and learn about their pain points.

During this initial phase, you're not looking for anything. Instead, you're giving your customers an outlet to discuss their problems and provide them with as much information as possible.

Uncover pain points

After talking to your customers, you can identify common themes that stand out. For instance, your customers might currently be using several different products to meet similar needs or already be using your product.

What challenges do your customers face? Is your product meeting their needs and expectations? What would they like to see your product do differently? Finding the answers to all of these questions can help you find patterns in your customers' responses.

Address pain points with products or services

After finding common themes related to customer challenges or pain points, you can begin finding ways to address them. For instance, your customers may all feel like your website interface is difficult to navigate, or they might want your product to integrate with other tools they use regularly.

Addressing your customers' pain points might include creating a new product or developing new features. In the case of a website, it might be something as simple as redesigning your homepage to improve navigation.

Whatever the case, use empathy before you begin the design process, or else you won't understand your audience. You must be able to walk in their shoes to fully understand their problems. From there, you can begin designing a product or website that solves their pain points.

Using a human-centered approach for effective web design

A human-centered design can improve your website by helping it become more user-friendly, navigational, and easy to understand. Putting your customers first can inspire brand loyalty and improve conversion rates. However, before developing your website, you should learn as much as possible about your target audience.

The more you know about your customers, the better you can design a website tailored to their specific needs. Use Mailchimp's audience data tools to learn more about your customers and develop a website with a more empathetic approach.

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