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Human Centred Innovation

How innovative are you? Do you see creativity as one of those things you are born with? How much fun do you have creating and fulfilling the needs of your clients?

In the past, creating products and services involved looking at your organisation, deciding what you want to do next and then spending a lot of resources marketing, trying to convince your clients that’s what they wanted.  Human Centred Design flips this thinking on its head by first understanding exactly what your end user needs and then creating products and services that make a difference.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

This quote, often attributed to Henry Ford is regularly touted as a reason not to talk to your customers.  Leaving aside whether Henry Ford even used this quote for the moment let’s first distinguish the difference between asking people what they want and using Human Centred Design. When you ask people what they want the answers you get are limited by what they think you want to hear, what they believe is available and even how much thought or time people want to put into answering your question. Building empathy for the people you serve goes much deeper than simply asking people what they want.  Spending time in your clients shoes really understanding what they are dealing with, how, when and why they are interacting with you gives you access to a whole range of creative innovative solutions. When you are creating from a deep client understanding you will be able to both make sure you are answering the right question and answering the question the right way.

In the above example, If you take that original quote at face value, and what people were really not wanting to deal with is cleaning up horse manure, a faster horse wouldn't meet their needs at all. 

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