How Shutterstock is Designing for the Unknown Needs of Future Audiences



Shutterstock’s VP Product on the role of human-centric design in solving problems and preparing for the next generation of users.

With 1.7 million users downloading an average of 5.5 images per second, Shutterstock strives to always human-centric design at its heart. It has never been more important to establish an emotional connection with customers, and maintain it.

At #SMWLDN, Tania Philip (VP Product, E-Commerce, Shutterstock) took the stage to educate attendees on the concept of human centered design and preparing for the future needs of the next generation of consumers.

What is Human Centered Design?

“Human centered design is wildly misunderstood,” says Philip, and that it is often associated with the design or human research discipline, but it should really be seen as a human connection strategy. The role of human-centric design in solving problems by finding solutions and helping you find that emotional connection with your customers.

Future Proofing with Human Centered Design

Knowing your customer is key. Marketers should learn about their current customer base as well as their potential one. Most teams spend their time validating their solution instead of worrying about who they are building it for. Don’t design anything until you know who you are building it for any why.

Not all humans behave the same. It’s important to not overgeneralize the users or their behaviors. Shutterstock spends 30% of their week talking to their customers to understand what the common themes, workflow, and needs for their different customers. How are they similar or different?

By doing this, Shutterstock was able to create a new product based on the needs of their audience and developed Shutterstock Editor.

Find the Emotional Connection

Brands need to empathize with their customers and understand every emotion they may have about your product or service. Philip says building a customer journey collage that is basically a photo journal of their lives, which will help identify the type of emotional connection you want to make with a user.

Design your Future

To serve the future needs of the next generation without knowing what they might be today, Philip recommends designing a future for your brand based on all the information you know about the world, users, and trends.

Further analysis and commentary from ‘Future Proofing: Designing for the Unknown Needs of a New Audience’ session:

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