You may have come across the terms user focus and user-centricity when talking about product and service design. Although these two terms are close in wording, they are two different ways of thinking in the world of design. Although both user focus and user-centricity concentrate on the user of a product or service, they differ in the way the users and their needs are viewed and taken into account.
In a user-focused and retrospective manner
The user-focused way of thinking can be seen when a company views a user of its product or service through the processes of its organisation, its business idea and the product or service it has already created. Everything is done on the basis of the return that users can bring to the company.
The user-focused company’s point of view also tends to be strongly technology-oriented.
The stumbling block of a user-focused company is to make assumptions about what the users of its product value. Data is collected frequently by market and case studies, but things are seen as if looking in the rear-view mirror. Was the product or service good or bad in the opinion of the users? Is there anything we could fix? Any shortcomings that arise will be remedied, but only very moderately and without loss of productivity.
A user-focused company can also be blind to the fact that each user and user group has its own narrow perspective on the product or service. Product fixes made on the basis of feedback from one user group may not be useful for other user groups at all; they might even be confusing for them.
New business thinking with a user-centric approach
A user-centric company views its business through the processes of the user of its product or service, with the idea of producing value for the customer. Understanding of the wishes and needs of users and user groups is produced using in-depth interview methods. In the case of professional products, for example, those who buy and use the product are different people. In addition to them, there are usually many other user groups whose needs are equally important to identify, as the product should be of value to them all.
Listening to users provides the company with important information about what should be done differently in the future and what kind of business model would best serve its customers and the different user groups involved. The user-centric approach, therefore, emphasises the future-oriented approach and the desire to develop the business for the benefit of the customer.
We help your company connect with your users
ED Design has developed the DESIGN PUZZLE™ toolkit for user-centric identification of innovation opportunities and development of successful products and services. By observing users and interviewing them in depth, we can create completely new opportunities for innovation. Contact ED Design to learn more!
ED Design develops innovative and feasible solutions for its customers with a user-centred approach. We start by observing the core needs of the users and shape them into radical business opportunities. We do not leave design at the level of an idea but take your innovation through the whole product development project to implementation. Contact ED Design!