As designers, we should always think about how users will interact with our solution, and how will it sustain our business model. But the sweet-spot is a lot more complex. At least 6 parts should be taken into consideration when thinking a holistic design:
- society improvement: how will this solution interact with society? Are we promoting a better society, or at least not making it worse? Are we able to soften any social vulnerability?
- environmental sustainability: which impacts does our solution have in nature? Are we thinking about the whole development cycle, from crib to cradle?
- users experience: in the plural, are we consciously focusing on specific users or just staying in our comfort zone? Are we able to include other users in this process, especially when thinking about minorities?
- customer experience: how is our development process being developed? Are we focusing too much only on the final solution experience, at the expense of the development experience? How can we improve our service and interactions during development?
- business sustainability: how will this solution sustain the business in which I am involved? Are we thinking strategically about the business goals in our daily plannings and decisions?
- employee experience: how is our team’s relationship to the development process? Which personal sacrifices are we making to achieve solutions? How is the mental health of the people on this side of the fence? Are we improving our team members and providing sufficient knowledge/tools?
If we just think about users and business, we can end up neglecting or even worsening other parts of the process. If improving our users’ experiences impacts negatively the society or the environment, is it worth it? If to achieve business goals we have to sacrifice our team welfare, is it sustainable? Are we thinking about all users or are we unintentionally excluding minorities and other cultures from our design process?
Of course we can’t foresee everything, but adding more variables to our equation for success is essential.