Systems-shifting design for charity products and services

I have a hypothesis about product success: users are far less important than we think. How and where a product intersects with other systems is far more important for achieving outcomes.

Human-centred design, the dominant mindset for product design, places the user as the most important consideration, but this, I think, is built on the assumption of the user as separate from the world around them. If we think of the user as just one actor in the network of systems that makes up the product, then this

Rightly or wrongly, charities are often held to a higher ethical standard than commercial enterprises for how they design and build products and services, and I think as the ideas around systems-shifting design take hold we’ll see more charities designing for how to products interact with other systems to affect change and achieve outcomes rather than the user-centred approach for products that seek to change behaviour.