The right users make all the difference for Design Thinking

In any Design Thinking process — whether that’s a one-day intro session, a 5-day sprint, or a deeper dive over multiple weeks — identifying the right users is crucial.

The people who use your product or service are at the heart of human-centered design.

Your design team(s) will interview and observe users early in your Design Thinking process, the phase in which we develop deep human empathy and understanding. Later in the process, users will give you valuable feedback in the testing phase, and you’ll probably continue working with them as you iterate to improve your offering.

What’s a user?

The “user” is the person you’re designing for, and that changes depending on the project. A few examples:

  • In a project about patient well-being in a hospital, your users are actual hospital patients, or people who have recently been in the hospital.
  • If you’re hoping to make the process of buying residential real estate easier, you’ll need some real house-hunters.
  • Want to make diapers that meet family needs better? Say hello to parents and babies.

Other people to include in Design Thinking

Nobody is an expert on every angle of an issue, so getting input from a variety of perspectives will enrich your experience with Design Thinking and yield better end results.

For the example project above on patient well-being, nurses, doctors, administrators, patient family members, and the hospital janitorial staff could all provide valuable sources of information and might be good additions to a design team.  

With a mix of perspectives and levels on your Design Thinking team, and users who from whom you can glean real insights about what you offer them, you’re on your way to a Design Thinking program bursting with insights and innovation.

Learn more about Design Thinking and The O’Briant Group at or follow us at @obriantgroup.

By |2018-08-26T19:55:30-04:00April 11th, 2018|Design Thinking, Innovation strategies|