Four Ways to Apply Human-Centered Design Thinking to DAM

By Mindy Carner

Learning the Theory

Being a DAM manager can sometimes feel like being an island. Many of the individuals involved in day-to-day business operations may not really understand the value or need — not to mention the complexity —  of the tool. But gaining buy-in and user adoption doesn’t have to begin at post-launch user education. It can and should begin as early as the design stages for the system requirements, and continue through system configuration, implementation and testing.   

Enter human-centered design, an approach to creating a solution that ultimately meets end-users’ needs. Some principles underlying the practice include:

  • Collective intelligence: The wisdom of the group is greater than the wisdom of the smartest individual within the group.
  • Fail fast: Ideate and test many options for an end solution, seeing early — and with little investment — which solutions resonate with your customers.
  • Have empathy for the end user: Try to identify your customers, what their needs and wants are, and how they will interact with your product.
  • Show, don’t tell: Go beyond verbal instruction with sketches, prototypes and telling the user story.

These principles can be applied to the design of a DAM system — even if you will not be creating a custom user experience or user interface. Most every DAM manager knows that getting stakeholders involved early and often is the silver bullet to success. But they don’t always know the best ways to do that. Design thinking workshops offer an interactive, productive and fun way to involve your stakeholders from the beginning, gain valuable insights and empathy toward their needs, and rapidly, collectively design a best-in-class configuration for your specific DAM system.

Putting it into Practice

There are a variety of tools in the design thinking toolbox. In fact, limitation is one of the enemies of design thinking. An expansive, open-minded creative process leads to the kinds of ideas that transform industries. But you only need to transform your DAM!

Here are just a few of the great ways that you can engage your end users to “help you help them” design their own best-possible future state:

  • Rapid ideation: Have teams sit in groups and just throw out rapid-fire ideas and document them. However minuscule or grandiose, get them all down.
  • Dot-voting: Allocate everyone in the room a certain number of “dots” to vote with and allow them to review the ideas and vote for their favorites.
  • User personas and journey maps: Create a picture of your customer and their journey through your product experience to identify their pain points, ah-ha moments and opportunities to create joy.
  • Rapid prototyping: Use pictures, sketches, sculpture — whatever you need to — in order to create a visually compelling story of how you plan to optimize the end-user experience.

Come learn more about design thinking for DAM at Henry Stewart New York 2018 on Friday, May 4. Optimity Advisors’ very own John Horodyski and Mindy Carner will be leading a “Design ‘DAM’ JAM” with lots of information and interactive experiences to bring back and implement in your own organization. Please use discount code MINDY100 to receive $100 off of your registration fee.

Mindy Carner

Mindy Carner

Mindy is one of Optimity's premier information science subject matter experts. She has a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science, and nearly ten years of experience creating, deploying, managing and governing metadata and taxonomy strategies for national and international organizations. Mindy supports clients on a variety of information system deployments by leading information discovery, content assessments, metadata and taxonomy strategy, vendor selection, implementation management, deployment and change management strategy and governance planning.