Human-centered Designs

Cygnis Media Editor
Human-centered Designs

In an organization, you will come across executives, analysts, and managers, the meaning of data will be different to each of them. Managers may require an overall view of all activities on a micro level, while the executives would be more interested in data related to long term vision of the company. With a human-centered approach, companies are looking to do interesting things and explore new horizons with their data.

Understanding the need and desires of users is integral. When you are designing complex systems, there will be multiple personas to design for. The three different roles stated above, would each have different expectations. So when it comes to designing an interface providing data relevant to that persona, a human-centered approach becomes important.

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For example, let’s take a company who recently migrated to a new interface, designed for a central repository of all their data. This company would have managers in the marketing, accounts, human resource, and logistics departments. The interface is outsourced to another company who did not take into consideration the unique personas that would access the interface and designed with a one-size fits all approach. You, for example a marketing manager, access the interface and find a beautifully designed login page and are excited to get inside and experience a totally new world. Every second increases your anticipation even further. You enter your credentials, log in, and are wowed! You see a stylish interface with a great color combination and receive a welcome note on your first access. As you close the popup, things start to get troublesome. You see graphical representation of cash flows, employee attendance, recent leads received, and the stock levels of your company. Being in the marketing field, apart from the information on potential clients, all other information to you seems a total disconnect with what you do and makes you wonder why you are being shown such information. The look of the interface is great, but when it comes to usability, the design fails. That is why qualitative and data driven designs play a key in the digital world today.

Good designs focus on providing the relevant information to different personas. Providing information on leads received and meeting schedules might be what interests you at first glance, while stock levels and shipment information would matter to the logistics manager. The representation of data would be different and this too plays an important role in such designs. Textual representation might be more intuitive and clear for you while graphical representations would be to the other. If the design would cause distractions early on, it would fail to create an intuitive flow and leave the user confused about the whole system. It is important to show users what they really need at first glance and then structure the interface according to their requirements.

Wrap up

The human-centered approach focuses more on qualitative data and requires detailed gathering and analysis of user cases and requirements. It makes detailed requirement analysis really important as designers would be creating a tailor made solution for users who require different data workflows. The key is to identify personas early on and design your interface around them.

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