Customer-centred design, customer centricity, … It is all about putting your end user, your (potential) client in the centre of your product development lifecycle. How can you do this? There are 3 important phases in a customer or user-centred approach:
- Observation phase: observe the real user needs. Don’t focus too much on what you, as a company, think that the user might need. Try to be neutral and focus on your end user. Make sure that you analyse well the user terminology, because most of the time this is totally different from the company’s terminology.
- Design phase: work in several iterations and design the optimal user experience via wireframes, step by step. Start with a concept phase and add more detail in each iteration. Working with wireframes or prototypes ensures that you keep the focus on your end user and his needs (and not start developing right away with the consequence of product failure or high change costs when the product seems not user friendly enough in the end).
- Evaluation phase: due to working with prototypes, users can be involved in a very early stage of the design process. That’s a major advantage that is often forgotten. Real user input, knowing that you are going the right direction before starting with the development is priceless in each digital project. You can even evaluate your product via a paper prototype, the sooner the feedback of your potential customer, the better.
Besides these 3 phases, there are also other approaches which can help in the customer centricity process: personas, customer journeys, card sorting sessions, ux benchmark studies to learn from best practices from your competitors, ux reviews by experts, ...