Design matters: Idea works when rooted to human and minds are linked

Many of us and startups think Design thinking, Human Centered Design and many such design methods are only theoretical and hence fail to realize that ignoring them can cost them their dream and money.  We tend to get so carried away with our passion and obsession for the idea that we fail to realize whether the target and impacted audience/people of the product were consulted, idea/PoC was ever run through them for validation. Recently an incident in son’s school made us realize this. The school decided to replace students manual diary with technology. It sounds great. I too was impressed. WOW.  But slowly we realized that technology has not replaced manual process rather it has replaced the students responsibility. The responsibility of knowing, the responsibility of owning, the responsibility of noting down the instructions in their school diary, the responsibility of communicating to the parents, the responsibility of letting teacher know etc. Now what happens it is straight from School to the app and then app to parents, where is the student gone in this whole cycle. This is what mostly we fail to consider while we design any product or business. Who are the stakeholders, actors, users etc. Now the parents are damn against the tool/app but the school is pushing the app through the parents’ throat and we know what would happen as reaction. There could be mass exodus from the school next year. In this whole drama, who would be most impacted is the startup having spent their seed fund, angel fund etc. They would hardly be paid if the parents don’t pay. The school management would convey the message to the startup that the parents did not accept the tool. So is it a problem of the school or parents? It is the problem with the startup who is probably blindfolded with his world class idea but with weak product and business design. They completely ignored the key stakeholders.

It may sound funny but the startup failed to link minds (Parents, Students and School) and apply thinking on human (Students) centered design.

Remember you can be passionate about an idea/problem area but don’t be obsessed. Get someone to review your idea who can look at it completely from different perspective which might not be too interesting and aligned to you.

So design well, link well and grow well.

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