Meeting User Needs Should be Paramount to Product Design

by | Oct 6, 2014 | PKF Texas - The Entrepreneur's Playbook®

Jen: This is the PKF Texas: Entrepreneurs Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here again with Kelsey Ruger, the Chief Experience Officer at CogMine and the President of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association. Welcome back to the Playbook, Kelsey.

Kelsey: Thanks, Jen.

Jen: So when we talked about your title as Chief Experience Officer, you mentioned design and design thinking. What does that mean?

Kelsey: Think about design and design thinking as a different way of solving problems. Typically when people think about design, they think about the way things look or the way they feel. But that’s just really the façade. Like there’s a lot that goes into getting to that endpoint, and the example I always like to use is how we define what users want from a system.

Typically, the way users are defined from a business perspective is what we call an inside-out perspective. So the business defines their goals and then they build software out to the user to meet those goals. When we’re thinking from a design perspective, we’re really starting from what the user is trying to accomplish and building in from there to meet those business goals.

So if you’re a user, your primary concern is, “Does this software help me get my job done?” There’s some business metrics in there; but what we want to do is make sure that we’re accomplishing what the users need so that you can actually end up with a happy medium.

Jen: So anybody who has client service responsibilities can use this design thinking to really help them think about what their client actually needs. Is that right?

Kelsey: Yeah, they can think through that. And the other thing I will tell you is try to avoid asking users what it is they want. Instead, ask them what problems they need to solve, and then you design for that.

Jen: That’s cool. That’s really cool. Well, thanks so much for sharing that with us today.

Kelsey: Thanks, no problem.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

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