Thought: The difference between business and user centred design.

As a business you want people to buy, and use your products and services to increase profits by selling more or by reducing costs. The things you build to support this help to achieve those business goals but are not usually designed to accommodate a ‘customers’ busy life.

Business centred design creates a ‘destination’ mentality; the idea that a product/service has a primacy of place above everything else that’s going on in the customer’s life.

User-centred design teaches us that ‘customers’ are people first, ‘customers’ second.

Here’s what I mean.

Businesses often decide to introduce a ‘self-service’ channel to reduce costs.  For a customer, this means they now have to do something that the business used to do for them. Quite often this is sold as ‘Giving the customer control’ but it is not, you have ‘forced’ them to undertake another task, amongst all the other things they have to do.

By understanding the impact on the person who uses your products and services you would provide tools that help to achieve your business goal and that would move the customer back to the state of competence they had before you outsource your work to them.