‘User Centricity’ : The most effective way forward.

November 7, 2020

iauro Team

Contributing immensely to the global software solutions ecosystem. DevOps | Microservices | Microfrontend | DesignThinking LinkedIn

What was the design approach pre-pandemic and how has it changed post-pandemic?

There was a shift in design centric approach before the pandemic but the organizations have started to notice the shift post-pandemic. There is always a need to pre-plan the process to be ready to face
and overcome the challenges and disruptions.

There has been quite a good shift in the overall offerings/services, and from the point-of-view of design, to move from a consumer/user-centric approach towards a more purpose-centric approach.

The shift was seen even before the pandemic, but organizations have now started to realize and believe that this is inevitably the new normal, and are becoming more reactive/responsive to the situation.

User-centric approach to purpose-centric approach – what brought about this monolithic revolution?

There is a famous research by the European Design Research team where they’ve shown the
presence of a major shift towards a more purpose centric approach.

If we take a closer look, users are selfish animals demanding all sorts of things from everyone. Thus, being at the centre of the design process team. Furthermore, a user will demand everything other than the actual functionality of the product. This puts tremendous pressure on creative heads, and it becomes difficult to gauge what the user is actually demanding.

The complete user-centric approach leads to adding layers of designs and technology to satisfy the ever-dynamic user demands. So, we need to move towards the subject of the product, and the fundamental process of the product. And this can only happen once we shift towards a thorough purpose-centric approach.

You need to put the purpose rather than the user in the centre, situations dependent or independent of any kind of pandemic does not matter. Thankfully, the pandemic has questioned the very fundamentals, and the shift is really happening.

How/Why are consumers changing their overall UI/UX experiences?

History has proved that no matter what, technology will always have to wait and pause for a minute. This is absolutely important in order to understand the bigger picture(s), and then to tune the organization’s ideas, goals, objectives, products, and services towards an overall wholesomeness.

Thus, someone will always have to step-in to not only oversee all of the fundamentals, but to also fully verify if the use of technology is improving the overall quality of life, and – making living as easy as is possible – or not. A thorough totality of the system needs to be properly analysed and studied in order to understand the true purpose.

 

Would there be a change in relationship between consumers and products when making the shift towards a purpose-lead design approach?

This can be easily understood by simply looking at the concept of entropy. Entropy is the overall level of disturbance caused. Entropy is found everywhere. On human and individual level, within structures, inanimate objects, plants, etc. Entropy can be personal, interpersonal or professional. And as nature has it, overall levels of disturbances can either be good, bad, best, or ugly.

As a design team or an organisation, we need to take a good look at the mind-set the customers have while looking or learning about your product. And if the producer doesn’t understand this then it will hamper entropy, or even escalate it and create havoc for the business.

Levels of disturbances are always tremendous: this method will give you a stringent, but extremely helpful way of looking at your products and services.

 

Points of entropy and how it directly affects user design

Imagine a situation in which you install the most-suited application through which you plan to do wonders in some department of your life. But if the application does not work as per your expectations then you obviously will get annoyed and frustrated. But on the other hand, if the application is able to guide you systematically in a way you had imagined, you then would have a perfect growth graph to map your progress, and mostly importantly – be happy.

Thus, the points of entropy to be considered are –

What do I want to achieve from this?

What is my ability to use the product?

What is causing entropy?

iauro continuously develops and creates customer-lead products, but still often encounters different levels of challenges. So, how and what should we look at when we think about our design approach with entropy?

A person will always buy a product from you to get some benefit(s) out of it for themselves. This is one of the core fundamentals of purpose.

Thus, it can be divided into primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors. 20% of the things add 80% value, so even if you do 20% you will always end up providing value.

You need to understand the purpose as to why people have invested in you and your products / services. The purpose has and will always be – to achieve bigger and get better results.

There are also a lot of times when people will select/purchase products/services on the basis of their
emotions i.e. emotional responses.

One’s purpose-centric and other’s user-centric (emotionally), how can this collide? And, where’s the boundary?

There is a difference between functionality and purpose. The purpose can be using the best phone or even an Apple iPhone, while intention and functionality may or may not coincide; if it does, it’s the idle state.

Which products and services collide and check all of the boxes?

The companies which have excelled in purpose-lead approach with user-centric approach are –

Lijjat Papad is an excellent product and there isn’t any major competition for it. The Gujarati lady started this venture to earn some money. 60 years later, her papads have reached their purpose and the company has achieved a second-to-none brand image, even if the packaging is not exceptional.

If any competitor ever comes up, having the same brand image with an excellent product as well as purpose like hers, would definitely make her (and you) happy.

The future’s next big-thing in purpose-lead approach in terms of interphases

Interphases will be more spot driven and you won’t have to physically be there i.e. you imagine and think of a thing and it will be there in front of you.

The biggest problem is that there’s just a lot more time than work i.e. there is pure boredom. The world is heading towards boredom. Today, at a mere press of a button, you can get several different things done; perhaps tomorrow, you will be able to do those same things (and more), just by thinking about it.

Heading into the future, we will have to develop and create things that will cure boredom. We will go back full circle – interphases; where the fundamentals of the 5 senses will be of crucial importance.

With increased AR/VR in the future, interphases may get locked-down in this virtual world and feel the 5 fundamental senses

This is known as the pleasure-seeking treadmill. Therefore, even if technology is future oriented our body is old and ancient, and as the glucose wears off, we will wear off. Artificial intelligence is only useful if you are intelligent first.

Is there a difference between UI/UX and Design Thinking, or are they the same?

Basically, the terms are created for a buzz by intelligent people. Design thinking is a process for creating design. It is a bigger basket along with UI and UX. Above design thinking, there is also system thinking.

The problem was that people were only looking at users and products, and not at the hierarchies of users or combination of users. When you consider all of the components, there are always numerous opportunities for solving problems.

Finally, you will also have to first define the relationship between the user and the product. The relation is often a lot more interesting than the product itself, and this relation needs to be fully understood. This is called a structure in design thinking and is always exciting to solve.

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