What is design thinking? And more importantly, what is it doing on an HR guy’s blog. We as a generation are standing at the cusp of a huge opportunity, whereby we can create the deepest impact on the HR fraternity by creating a cutting-edge versatile product- a product that communicates with businesses today. And for that, we must first have an understanding of the end consumer’s needs and experience, and this knowledge and understanding must be aligned with technological solutions.
Steve Jobs, one of the most renowned design thinkers once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”. And “Design Thinking” is nothing but keeping the user at the center and building around him, an orbit of Viability, Feasibility and Desirability, that converge together to create a solution at a large scale; something that remains sustainable for the next 25-30 years.
In a day and age where employees are much more aware and empowered, there is a sense of ‘expectation’ of high quality service from HR and HR Tech, just as it is from any of the consumer brands. As the line between service and product gets continuously diminished, the relevance of Design Thinking becomes even more pronounced.
When it comes down to the brass-tacks, there is really nothing new that Design Thinking preaches. But as André Gide, French Author and Nobel Prize winner, rightly captured “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
Here are the top three insights HR Tech products can benefit and learn from Design thinking.
- The User should always be at the fulcrum :Whether it is a full-fledged mobile App or a single module, it should be designed keeping the user’s needs in mind. User interface and navigation should be designed in such a way that most of his requirements are met within two taps on the app. Designing around the user community ensures that you are addressing most of the myriad requirements of this group as a whole.
- ‘More’ doesn’t always mean ‘Better’: Did you know there are 1000+ features and functionalities in Microsoft Word? Sounds strange, isn’t it? We have barely experienced a fraction of them, in spite of having worked on it for years. This is the story of today’s products. Design Thinking is not only required for features of a module, but also for how a user would interact with it, how many clicks to complete one transaction, how we address the ever increasing security concern without hampering the product performance, how to keep the product ever evolving, how we address scale and multi-geo requirements, and how easy it is to change and modify the product with changing times.
- Create a product adaptable to evolution : As complex change management is, people are equally bored with the same functionality and interface. Just like we as humans evolve and take on multiple facets, new age products should also be made ‘evolvable’ to meet new requirements from time to time. For e.g. big changes are anticipated by Enterprise application areas in the field of data encryption and protection.
Today, when hundreds of Apps and software products are getting launched every single day, there is only one differentiator which demarcates average products from the exceptional ones
Understanding of the user
- Understand each user category’s role relevance and prioritize the product features accordingly
- Constantly interact with the user and study their usage behaviour (e.g. can historical leave pattern of last 2 years help the employee manage his time effectively? Can it alert the L1 in advance, so that the task allocation is managed in advance?)
- Bring these usage behaviours into the core of product engineering and keep evolving.
Customization is fast becoming passé because more and more customers are beginning to understand the advantages of associating with a well-designed product, which can give them a long-term sustainable solution. Design Thinking provides a systematic way to gain this perspective.
With an increasing number of tech products adopting the design thinking approach, it promises to be exciting times ahead for all the users!