The Fight for Desirability


This article was posted in its entirety on by Bryan Hoedemaeckers.

“HCD or Human-Centred Design mandates that when you start designing something you start with what is desirable to humans. Then you work out what you can achieve from an ‘as of that day’ viable (financial) and feasible (capability) point of view. If you do it the other way around, you are not innovating; you are simply iterating on what you’ve already got.

HCD helps organisations drastically transform their products, services, strategies, and culture to be customer-centric.

This happens, without the constraints of their own viability and feasibility, during the design process. The viability and feasibility of an organisation should not impede the design process, it should be highlighted as an issue once you know what people want, and your organisation should make compromises away from viability or feasibility, not away from desirability.

Before I continue, a couple of side notes…

Desirability also helps companies drag their viability and feasibility in the right direction, towards desirability. If they’re not capable of doing the thing that people will love, they’d better formulate a strategy that changes viability and feasibility.

I’ll get back to the main point in a second…

However, a lot of people will say “but the customer is not always right”. I ask those people to reframe between customers, and humans. Read my first sentence, “What is desirable to humans”, not just customers, but to people, all people, or specific pockets of people if you’re good at data-driven persona identification like we are. You need to gather insights, then come up with ideas during the design process, this means you can create entirely new things, with only insights from people, not ideas from customers.

Back to my main point, HCD sounds simple right? Well, in the current business landscape, full of gigantic incumbents, it’s not.

If you’ve ever gone through a corporate investment process, you’ll know that it’s not. Desirability won’t get you investment dollars unless your investment committee sees something tangible.”

Read the full article here.