At the foundation of a people-centred approach, is working with people. We call these people ‘Lead Users’.
Lead Users are people who make greater demands on a product, system, service or environment. They often have to work around the limitations of a design and challenge it in ways beyond the average, mainstream user. This can often be due to their age, ability or many other factors. They can help you understand how designs are really used, and tell you about their aspirations and lifestyle. Importantly, Lead Users can also highlight problems. This can provide you with the insight and inspiration to develop new ideas. Developing a design that is better for Lead Users can often mean that it is better for everyone. However, it is important not to ignore the mainstream user or to design only for Lead Users.