Each product and application is not for just everybody. Sure, there are products that are used and consumed widely, but they all are based on the idea of who is going to use these products. This is especially true for very interactive products, like software, websites and other digital applications.
Before you start designing a product, think who is going to use it. Who are you designing it for? What is the context they live in? What are the problems they have that your product would solve? Or, what are the ways your application would make their life better? Are they using other products, services and tools that are solving this problem? These are just some of the questions you need to find an answer to.
Why should you bother? Because – as IDEO points out - it can help your organization connect better with the people you serve. it can transform data into actionable ideas. it can help you to see new opportunities. it can help to increase the speed and effectiveness of creating new solutions.
The sentence above is an excerpt of my favourite resource to grasp how to get to understand your (potential) users, and how this would benefit your product; it’s the “Human Centred Design toolkit”? written by IDEO, a product innovation consultancy. This is especially designed for NGOs and social enterprises that work with impoverished communities around the world. The toolkit helps organizations understand people’s needs in new ways, find innovative solutions to meet these needs, and deliver solutions with financial sustainability in mind. You can download the toolkit pdf file, free of charge.