Human-centred design is not a substitute for rigour
Often, under the banner of human-centred design, CEX practitioners and consultants reveal a loose grasp on basic sampling theory and offer tiny, convenience samples (a handful of consumers) to solve for customers’ “pain points.”
Methods such as human-centred design are a pseudo-qualitative approach to proposing a customer-generated solution. The trouble is, without a properly-structured quantitative assessment, there is often little objective evidence that the “problem” is related to any organisational outcome or, that the “solution” will change the future behaviour of consumers.
Closer to reality, when it comes to altering consumer retention and acquisition, most of the pain points are merely “squeaky wheels”. In the words of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman from their journal article, ‘Belief in The Law of Small Numbers,’ ‘They (in this case, CEX practitioners) tend to extract more certainty from the data than the data, in fact contains.’
The first guiding principle of scientific inquiry is the ability to replicate the results within the margins of experimental error. When conducting different convenience sample based, human-centred design exercises, it is possible to produce two entirely different results.
If you are basing CEX investment on conclusions drawn from human-centred design alone, then it is likely you are seeing little return on your CEX investment.