Know-why is better than know-how

As young children, most of us will have taunted our parents with one incessant line of questioning: ‘why?’ Such persistent inquisitiveness is perhaps curbed somewhat as we grow a little older and learn a little more, but the instinct to probe for cause and reason should never be forgotten or dismissed as childish curiosity. It’s the founding principle of all good design.

childish curiosity

A client’s first question is often ‘what can you do?’ An account manager may ask their designers ‘how can you do this?’ However, long before either of these questions can be answered, a thorough understanding of the end-user’s underlying needs and motivations is required. You should know these users like you know your friends, appreciating their quirks, ticks and habits.

You must understand how your users behave and, of course, why. A deep empathy for the
people you’re designing for is the cornerstone of delivering user-centred designs that make a real difference to people’s lives. UX (User Experience) is a term that is sometimes misused, misunderstood and even feared, though there is no need for this to be the case. It’s simply the matter of knowing who you’re designing for, what their needs are and ensuring that what you’re doing meets these needs. In healthcare, we should always envisage the end-user as being the patient. Whatever surrounding stakeholders we deal with, whatever the means of delivery, the output must always have a positive impact on the lives of patients.

The above is an extract from HAVAS LYNX white paper: Designing Human experiences – Applying science to the creative process to improve lives 
http://www.havaslynx.com/work/library/

HAVAS LYNX are partnering with eyeforpharma at the Barcelona summit, 18-20 March 2014. At the event, we will be hosting a workshop on UX: The key to unlocking ROI. The LYNX team will take you through the techniques you need to deliver compelling experiences that make a difference. We will show you that UX covers more than you think, can cost less than you expect, and that it is more important than anything else.

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