Human-centered design is an approach to innovation attributed to a global design company, IDEO. According to the company, human-centric design nurtures trust between a company and its customers, hence fueling loyalty and growth. Unlike design thinking that focuses on features that will entice customers, the human-centric approach focuses on the real needs that customers face.
Also referred to as user-centric design, this approach aims at interacting with users to identify their needs and wants, and then developing solutions that leave the customer happier. A case study of Kellogg’s corn and wheat flakes company establishes that the innovation process does not end at the product development stage, but is carried forward to the packaging, marketing as well the distribution stages.
Research shows that human-centered design takes into consideration all the user emotions, behavior, goals, and needs. It is a process that begins with the study of how users interact with a product, carefully analyzing things that require improvement or modification. Next are the prototype design and development before market release. Where necessary, companies make adjustments to take care of specific needs.
Hubspot has reiterated the need for user-centric designs to "solve the consumer frustrations and make them better, happier, more productive," citing the Colgate-Palmolive toothbrush with a smaller tip and curved handle. However, given that behavior research is at the center of the human-centered approach, the solution can be in the form of a process or experience, as has been the case with Airbnb and Pinterest. Also, Internet-based organizations use this approach to come up with UI/UX designs.
However, some companies and industries use behavior research to nurture addiction among users. Social media and online gaming are some of the areas where human-centered designs attempt to induce addiction. Looking at the gambling world as an example, casino games, lotteries like scr888
, scratch cards, electronic gaming machines, and betting websites prey on user behaviors to get gamblers hooked to the game. According to Scientific American, gamblers have a very underactive reward circuitry. Small gambling losses give them hope for a bigger win the following time. Other studies corroborate this finding, which shows gambling activates the reward system in the brain of a pathological gambler.
Besides the apparent hope for small wins or the possibility to win a big jackpot, psychologists say that the use of arousing colors and buzzing sounds on electronic betting machines also drives the impulsive behavior among gamblers. Furthermore, these machines offer non-financial benefits such as credits to use on another game, hence increasing the gambler's tolerance for small losses.
According to recent research, other factors that lead to betting addiction include:
1. Affordability and perceived value for money. Sports betting sites accept smaller bets from people who do not have a lot of money to spend, and these people also stand a chance to hit a major jackpot.
2. Frequency of betting. People can bet as many times as possible on various platforms.
3. Probability of winning and the size of the jackpot. The prize structures give people hope for a bigger win with minimal effort, and jackpots go up to millions of dollars. Also, a strategy that provides losers with many near-miss opportunities increases their hope of winning later.
4. The social nature of the game. Sports betting is a fun activity that releases dopamine, which helps keep the gambler high. People meeting in casinos and sporting events use gambling as a form of entertainment that brings together fellow players.
5. Accessibility. Even the most addicted gamblers can gamble with ease without being noticed. With the growth of online gaming websites, people can bet anywhere, any time and any day. Geographic location does not deter them because they can place bets or play on their phones and computers.
6. Advertising. Sports betting advertises widely alongside other addictive activities such as adult entertainment. Digital betting platforms place targeted adverts on various platforms where everyone can see them and jump in. Also, most betting firms have partnered with bookmakers to give predictions that make it possible for everybody to place the best odds, whether they are starters or experienced gamblers.
Sports betting companies have successfully used human-centered designs to lure more and more people into the world of gambling. Many entities also employ manipulative techniques in the manufacture of gambling machines, betting websites, and marketing of gambling activities in a bid to woo gamblers to spend more time and more money placing bets. The availability, accessibility, and affordability of sports betting platforms have also fueled the addiction.