How Humanistic Design Is Changing The Way We Do Business


Imagine if your phone could take care of all your holiday to-dos—like buying gifts, booking itineraries, sending invites—with minimal instruction. This kind of digital personal assistance isn’t too far from reality. Developers are gaining ground with a concept known as “humanistic design,” which models human behavior and intelligence to carry out the everyday tasks that typically fall on us.

Companies are already collaborating to provide a holistic, streamlined experience for their customers. In doing so, they’re sharing technology and research to a degree they never have before. As TechCrunch noted, SDKs (software development kits) and APIs (application program interfaces) have transformed the way technology is shared, paving the way for joint business efforts that as profitable as they are progressive.

Meanwhile, big data presents new opportunities for companies to design and deliver based on user preferences and trends, creating smarter products and services that cater to the individual. We see this around us daily. In the entertainment industry, there’s Netflix’s “Top Picks” section and Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist, which refreshes each Monday with a new batch of tunes the data predicts you’ll like best.

And let us not forget the big shots of data-driven design. Apple’s “Siri Suggestions” displays contacts and apps you’re most likely to engage with, while Google Now gives Android users relevant info—weather reports, sport stats, local recommendations—when they want it. All of these are examples of humanistic design at work. They observe your behavior and integrate with other services to give you a personalized, productive experience.

It’s not a new concept, but it’s a genius one. The more we delegate to our devices and services, the more they integrate with our lives, creating a collaborative user-provider relationship. As a user, we want our provider to know us better so they can serve us better. As a provider, we want our users to rely on us for their needs so we secure their business.

Applying Humanistic Design to Your Business We all know customers appreciate personalized attention. Whether you’re a flourishing tech company or a small service provider, humanization can effectively boost customer satisfaction and alter the way you do business. It starts with learning, and learning starts with asking.

Polling customers on their biggest wants and needs should be a yearly, if not quarterly, priority. Customer surveys deliver invaluable product and service feedback, plus they increase satisfaction by giving your customers a voice. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg if you’re working with data. Advanced user analytics uncover preferences and problem areas in real time, giving you actionable insights into what your users are seeing, doing, and liking most.

Once you gather data, follow in the footsteps of the giants by iterating on your offerings and teaming up with other service providers to exceed your customers’ needs. This doesn’t have to take shape through a fancy SDK or API. It can be as simple as a discount partnership or recommended provider list. In any case, when you fill another gap for your customers you strengthen your spot in their address book.

Regardless of how you apply them, these high-level concepts are a clear look at tomorrow’s business world—one that ushers in progress through a new give-and-take strategy that favors collaboration as its competitive advantage. By engaging with customers and acting on their feedback creatively, companies establish themselves as the two-way providers consumers have grown to prefer. It’s a new age for all.

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