Technology is embedded in our lives. For many people, they’re literally connected from the time they wake up til the time they go to bed. The understanding of digital technologies like big data and analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality has really grown.

Businesses began adopting these technologies as part of digital transformation processes, but there can be a danger if their initial approach is too simplistic. For successful adoption, they need human-centered digital transformation, known as experience design, to ensure they deliver value to consumers, partners and employees.

Human-centered digital transformation requires organizations to bring people involved to center stage of the digital transformation program, delivering technology and support in a manner and at a pace that is flexible, contextual and fits the needs of individuals. By understanding how humans interact with technology, we can empathize with their pains and figure out how we can make the experience more useful, usable and compelling.

This approach aims to fuse the needs of people with the potential of technology and the elements of business success. This means that collaboration with users is key to better outcomes.

In a broader environmental context, there is far less formal attention given to the design of the experienced environment. Even with physical and virtual, it is unnoticed – but experience design is taking place.

Within companies, experience design can refer not just to the experience of customers, but to that of employees as well. Anyone who is exposed to the space either physically, digitally, or second hand may be considered in the application of experience design. This includes staff, vendors, patients, visiting professionals, families, media professionals and contractors.

What tends to be forgotten through the change management, prioritization, requirements gathering and business case exercises in a transformation are the underlying needs of the customer and how customers experience the intended outcomes of the organization. Human-centered design draws out those needs along with engaging methods to get customers involved in the creation of solutions.

Human-centered design isn’t a silver bullet for transformation, nor is it a replacement for many of the tried and tested transformation techniques. Rather it’s a way to frequently assess and respond to customer’s experience and seek solutions to improve their experience. Ultimately the more we insert the humanity involved in the missions we’re performing the more impact our digital transformations can have.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.