Design for people
Playing the long game for business and society
As society grows, our needs change. Technology creates opportunities in all areas, shaping the landscape of commerce, health, education, government, and the arts. People are the constant. All organizations are comprised of and built to serve people. People are the most ubiquitous part of social and business innovation but too often are not in the equation.
People are complicated. Designing for people goes beyond basic demographics, requiring a more nuanced understanding of human wants, needs, behaviors, goals, and beliefs. It involves research, science, intuition, and hard work. Playing the long game for business and society at large means facing this challenge directly. This is why we are Peopledesign.
Sustainable organizations remain meaningful to people inside and out. Designing for people isn’t about making people feel good – though when done right, it should. It’s about creating innovative solutions that align the needs of individuals with institutions. Finding that balance creates growing companies and healthy communities. People-centered design helps organizations stay relevant. Organizations that serve people better outlive the rest. Meaningful brands persist. In the knowledge economy, companies that know their customers best will win in the long run.
Sometimes, people and organizations drift apart. Companies often focus too much on efficiency or past precedents while the world changes. The gap between an organization’s brand promise and customer expectation often requires a new focus. Closing the gap creates innovation and growth opportunities.
An organization’s knowledge of itself is critical for working effectively and optimization, which naturally increases over time.
Meanwhile, trends, technology, and a changing market landscape influence and change customer needs and expectations.
Understanding what is meaningful to customers can lead innovation platforms. Balancing these two trajectories creates opportunities for growth.
New leadership priorities
Leaders decide which problems to solve. Closing a customer knowledge gap often requires new insights to focus the organization on how it will be meaningful to the people it aims to serve. Leaders need to take decisive action to align internal teams to support customer experiences to realize a new promise.
Meaningful value propositions start with knowing what people value. Beyond specific products or services, it’s important to understand the perceptions and motives behind customer choices. What are people really trying to do? How is your organization helping them achieve their goals? Understanding your customer and what is meaningful to them is essential for creating value.
Customer experience is another critical part of the equation. Trust and loyalty is earned through interactions with an organization over time. Designing experiences is an elusive but ever more important task. From macro trends to nuanced interactions, experiences convey meaning. The battle for significance exists in the head of your customer, not at your headquarters. Customers don’t know or care about your departments, technologies, or products. People want a seamless experience.
Ultimately, what people think about your company – your brand – is the sum total of these experiences. Customers will vote with how they spend their time and money on brands that solve the equation best for them. Creating meaningful brand experiences is too often nobody’s job, but it should be among the chief priorities for leaders today.
In the knowledge economy, people today have more access, choices, comparisons, and alternatives than ever before. Information is power. Exposure to new trends, technologies, and experiences change buyer expectations. Customers no longer benchmark only your competitors; they want a search like Google, a store like Apple, and order status like Amazon. You won’t meet all these demands, but your customers will pick among your competitors the path which is easiest, most compelling, and meaningful.
At Peopledesign, we have developed an adaptable and time-tested process. We leverage human-centered design methods to deepen brand meaning and build engaging audience experiences. Informed by years of client experience, our unique method balances user needs, business objectives, team dynamics, media types, and more.
We help you establish, clarify, and communicate your strategic direction. Our goal is to increase the understanding of today to enable a vision for tomorrow.
Next we help connect your strategy to customer experience programs that will drive change. Our goal is to develop new systems for integration, training, and measurement.
Then we design and produce new vehicles for communicating and enhancing the customer experience. Our goal is to create breakthrough brand experiences.
The problem space for creating customer meaning requires three ingredients – business value, brand perception, and service experience. The overlap of these three areas is how we frame our work.
If value propositions start with what people value, then it’s important to define more precisely, definitively, and clearly, the sources of value. Insights based on customer behavior create new opportunities. We map opportunities for differentiation and growth and help organizations create relevant and meaningful products and services.
A brand is the perception of value in the mind of your customer. Understanding the current state and future perception goals can soften the ground and open doors. Ultimately, brands represent the relationship between the organization and the people it serves. We help internal teams shape customer perception through their strategic choices and actions.
Value is delivered through experience. Making experiences compelling is the oldest and newest frontier in customer innovation. People gravitate to what is easy, what they understand, and what is meaningful. From service design to digital interactions, we help organizations better understand the current state and future opportunities for shape behavior for positive ends.
Uncovering sources of value that lead to new products, services, and messages.
Building a better relationship between an organization and the people it serves.
Earning loyalty by helping customers make decisions and grow healthy habits.
Changes prompt decisions: How fast do we move? How far do we go? How do we support new products, growth opportunities, communications, and user experience across physical, digital, and personal interactions? How does it affect my internal team? Where do we start?
Increasing customer relevance is a journey, not a one-time event. We serve as a strategic consultant and outsourcing partner, working alongside internal teams to create and implement new systems. We collaborate with our clients to create a roadmap with strategic horizons and milestones.
Designed to help
We believe that good design creates a balance between people and institutions, making more effective and healthier communities. We do this work with our eyes on the horizon, aiming to help build a more humane society. These are hard problems, but failure is not an option when playing the long game. There is no single answer but we can help. Peopledesign is built to help companies address these issues. We work with organizations to create experiences meaningful for people, guiding changes inside and out. Because things that don’t work for people don’t work at all.
Articles about people and change