How to Unlock

Behavioural Change

Through Human-Centred Design


Monday 18-06-2018

New technology is not only used to streamline business but also to  improve engagement and experience for employees and consumers. How do you avoid the trap of expensive solutions and interventions that fail to adequately address the needs of users? Through Human-Centred Design, also known as HCD.


1. What is your your underlying problem?
By placing the human in focus, you may detect motivational issues, dysfunctional social norms and/or perceptional misconceptions among your employees or students. While the root of the problem could be control or usability, the underlying problem is typically human-oriented. (How, you may ask? Read our post on how to use Theory of Planned Behavour to identify specific problems) That being said, different issues call for different solutions.


2. Test your hypothesis
Research regarding human experience lies at the core of HCD. Far too often the gap between the App the real-world  is way too wide. In these situations, the consequence may be an interesting app that is not grounded in the real-world, or a potential powerful digital solution left untouched because links with the real world are not clear. Test the assumptions before creating the solution! In one of our projects, research showed that the management’s assumptions of the present problem were misguided. The interviews with the target group revealed a different problem that would not have been solved with the originally envisioned app.


3. Example of a HCD in real life
Each design decision should be aimed at empowering the user, while taking the context into consideration. An example from our own work is the KLM Take-Off onboarding application. The scope of the project involved enhancing learning for new employees. After testing assumptions, we realised  that new employees yearn for real-world exploration. The app includes location-based challenges that mobilised the employees, in-app visual progression and implemented photo challenges. Short quizzes were added to help with necessary knowledge about processes and organisational structure. Because the focus was on actual behavior in the real-world, the app eventually made itself redundant after accomplishing its preset goal.
Remember,  HCD is a focus that can enable or simplify (new) user experiences. It is also never an end in itself. It remains important as ever to keep human behavior at the center of our solutions. In this way, technology can truly empower people in and around your organisation, as well as through your products and services.
Summary: When designing your product, it is important to keep two things in mind: identify the underlying problem and make sure your solution corresponds with the real world! Our KLM onboarding app is an example of how we incorporated these aspects in our process.