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Unlocking design values

For the few weeks I have been busy helping my clients unlock their design values. An in the process, I have been lamenting the time I’ve spent designing using an User Centered Process. It has all been a big waste of time. Value Centered Design works. And it works beautifully.

What is Value centered design?

As I explained some time back, User Centrism is deeply flawed. The design process should not start with a focus on the user. By focusing on the user, you are ready to change your core values based on the users you have decided upon. This is like being ready to change who you are for the sake of your friends. It is a very superficial. You will easily come across as being insincere. A lot of companies suffer from this problem. I’m not saying all User Centered design is insincere, but it is a lot more likely to fall into this trap.

A lot of companies suffer from this problem. I’m not saying all User Centered design is insincere, but it is a lot more likely to fall into this trap

What is the option?

Instead, as designers, we should work to unlock the core values that you wish to address. Once you have your values clear it makes it much easier to create possibilities around the value system. And this is the point at which the users come in. You should validate the various design possibilities with the users and see if this is the correct audience who understand your values.

If your designs do not resonate with the users, the first option would be to test it out with a different target audience. This helps you refine not just your ideas but also the target user base. This is usually a go/no-go stage in the process where you really need to reevaluate your design direction.

How long does it take to reach this position?

From my experience using this process, it can take anything from 2 weeks to a month to get a point where you can get the final validation. That in my opinion is not a long time at all.

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • When needs collide – Navneet Nair Designs

    September 15, 2018 at 6:10 am

    […] to principles and values: Start with your values. Once you do that everything falls into […]

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