In today’s world, creating innovative and breakthrough solutions has become increasingly challenging. According to Orchidea, companies that actively promote a culture of innovation are 3,5 times more likely to outperform their peers. That is why, it is imperative not only to distinguish oneself from the multitude of competitors but also to design products in a manner that naturally attracts and retains user engagement.

To achieve this, your team must possess a deep understanding of customer needs, demonstrate expertise in UI/UX design, and be well-versed in the most effective development and design principles and frameworks. Frameworks, commonly used among developers, streamline coding by offering ready-made components, enabling focus on core project functionality rather than starting from scratch. In UX/UI design, on the other hand, a framework refers to a structured approach or system that guides the design process and helps designers create intuitive and effective user experiences and interfaces.

Therefore, in today’s article, we want to talk about Human-Centered Design (HCD), one of the most powerful frameworks that can make your app more attractive for users. So, let’s see what is so special about this design framework.

What Is HCD Design Framework and How Can It Bring You Better Results?

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a widely adopted methodology that ensures that the end product is not only functional and efficient but also user-friendly, accessible, and deeply satisfying for the target audience. Simply put, this approach to problem-solving has a focus on the people that you’re designing a product for.

The process starts by establishing who your user is and what their problem is and then ends by finding a solution that is tailored to them. It is also important to note that Human-Centered Design is based on iterative solution creation, testing, learning, and adapting the product based on the users’ feedback.

Key Principles of Human-Centered Design

In order to better understand this approach, it is important to know its ins and outs. Therefore, let’s look at the main principles of HCD:

  • Empathy. It means understanding the people who will use your product. You try to see things from the perspective of a potential user, learn about their needs, and understand their challenges. This is often done by interviewing and observing how people interact with similar products.
  • Involvement. Users need to be involved in the design developing process. Their feedback and ideas can be worked up and added to the final version of your product. This fact helps to ensure that the web product is created by real people who will use it, making it ready to meet their needs.
  • Iteration. Design is not a one-time effort. On the contrary, it’s an ongoing process of making improvements. You create new versions of the product, add new features, test them with users, gather feedback, and then refine the design based on details you’ve learned. This process can be repeated as many times as needed until your product meets users’ needs effectively.
  • Real-World Usage. When creating a new application, it’s important to think about the different environments and situations in which the product will be used. For instance, if you’re creating a mobile app, consider how and where people will use their phones – while walking in bright sunlight, or in noisy places. Understanding these real-world contexts helps to make the product practical and user-friendly in various conditions.
  • Inclusion. The design should be effective and enjoyable for a wide range of users, including those with different abilities, ages, backgrounds, and preferences. Ensuring inclusion means thinking about how to make the product accessible and usable for as many people as possible, so no one is left out or finds it difficult to use.

Read Also User-Centered Design vs. Design Thinking vs. Human-Centered Design: Answering Your Matters of Concern About Design Frameworks

Stages of Human-Centered Design

Now that we know what HCD is about, let’s take a closer look at the process and find out the goal of each stage.

  1. The Discover phase is all about gaining a deep understanding of the users and the context in which they will interact with the product. This step involves extensive research to uncover users’ needs, behaviors, pain points, and desires.
  2. In the Define phase, the insights gathered during the Discover phase are synthesized to articulate a clear problem statement and define the project’s objectives.
  3. The Design stage focuses on generating ideas and developing potential solutions based on the insights and defined problems from the previous phases.
  4. In the Prototype & Test phase, design concepts are turned into tangible prototypes that can be tested with users.
  5. The final step, Plan & Implement, involves finalizing the design and preparing for product development and launch.

The HCD process is dynamic and iterative. As you move through each phase, you may uncover new insights or challenges that require revisiting previous stages. However, each iteration brings you closer to delivering an experience that truly resonates with users, ensuring that the final product is both innovative and user-centric.

Read Also Iterative Development vs. Incremental Development: Spotting the Differences and Choosing the Best

How to Improve User Experience Using HCD for Developing Migraine Tracking App?

To demonstrate the principles of Human-Centered Design (HCD), we chose to apply this user-focused methodology to one of our practical case studies — the development of a migraine tracking application. So, let’s look at the transformative impact of HCD on developing products that not only meet but exceed user expectations.

Our business analytics and designers immersed themselves into the problematics and gathered insights into the experiences of individuals with migraines to understand their challenges and needs. Thus, we defined 2 key goals:

  • focusing on tracking migraine triggers and managing pain;
  • creating a web system for doctors and a mobile app for patients.

With a clear problem definition, designers brainstormed a range of features for the mobile app that could help users manage their migraines and headaches (a diary for tracking symptoms, alerts for medication, personalized tips for avoiding triggers, etc.) and a set of features for the patient management software that are able to assist doctors in their operations.

Having these two key goals in mind, here’s what we got as a result.

Patient’s Module

According to medical data, migraines are frequently associated with photosensitivity, a condition where exposure to light can trigger or exacerbate symptoms. This was the primary reason for choosing a dark interface for the user-side mobile app, as it helps to minimize light exposure and reduce discomfort for users with photosensitivity.

As expected from applications of such type, there is the ability to enter all the data about the attack: from duration to zones and pain level. But our team decided to improve “New Attack flow” with more informative details for each point.

Understanding the specific migraine pain zones is important for both patients and doctors for several reasons. Firstly, it allows patients to accurately communicate their symptoms to healthcare providers, enabling doctors to make informed diagnoses and tailor treatment plans accordingly. Additionally, knowing the pain zones helps doctors identify potential triggers or underlying causes of migraines, leading to more effective management strategies.

Patients with migraines can experience pain in a wide range of distinct areas, often varying from one episode to another. That’s why we add the possibility for users to choose the Pain localization on the appropriate step of the form. User is able to select the option of the whole-head pain, as to tap the zone on the head map from both-sides. For patients, understanding their pain zones can provide insight into their condition, aiding in self-management techniques and improving overall quality of life.

Assessing the pain level in each affected area is crucial for accurately diagnosing and determining the appropriate treatment approach. That is why, as you can see on the screenshots above, we decided to allow patients to either record a single pain level for the entire head or specify distinct pain levels for individual zones.

This detailed information is invaluable for doctors, as it enables them to pinpoint the precise locations of pain, understand the severity and distribution of the migraine, and tailor their treatment plans more effectively to address the patient’s specific symptoms.

In the final steps of creating a New Attack entry, patients can add symptoms and triggers associated with their migraine, as well as record the medication a patient took. Due to the diverse nature of symptoms and individual variability, users have the option to add custom symptoms. They will be displayed in the doctor’s administrative profile report on the attack, providing valuable information that can assist in accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment planning. All these steps are optional and can be skipped by the user if it’s unnecessary.

Doctor’s Module

The doctor’s module, accessible via desktop, serves as a crucial tool in healthcare software that is created for medical specialists to track and manage migraine attacks effectively. Its major aim is to provide doctors with comprehensive insights into patients’ migraine patterns, symptoms, and triggers, facilitating diagnosis and personalized treatment planning.

Source: Migraine Tracking Tool for Patient Management Software

Tracking migraines can significantly contribute to advancements in this field by providing valuable data for research and analysis. By systematically documenting migraine patterns, symptoms, triggers, and treatment responses, researchers can gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of migraines and develop more targeted and personalized treatment approaches. Additionally, large-scale data collection from migraine tracking initiatives can identify trends, patterns, and risk factors associated with migraines, leading to the development of new preventive strategies and interventions.

Moreover, the ability to monitor and control migraine attacks through the doctor’s module is essential for gathering and saving info about different disease cases which can help in the future to find the solution earlier.

To improve the workflow of medical specialists and to allow them to have more control over appointments, users with Doctor permissions can book appointments via the desktop platform, edit patients’ info and reports, as well as share and save info inside the app for quick access on different devices. It helped both patients and doctors to have a better booking and scheduling process overall.

By detailed reports generated in the app, doctors can gain a deeper understanding of the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine attacks experienced by each patient. This information is essential for monitoring efficacy, identifying potential triggers or exacerbating factors, and adjusting plans accordingly to achieve optimal results.

To let system administrators manage users, add new ones, and edit account details, we added a User Management, one of the ready-made JavaScript widgets from our product Webix. It also became of great help in sharing reports on patients’ records with other medical specialists in order to provide patients with proper treatment.

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As you can see, the Human-Centered Design (HCD) framework is a transformative approach that places the user at the heart of the product development process. It is an ongoing process, so user feedback would continue to be collected to improve the app over time.

By emphasizing empathy, involvement, iteration, real-world usage, and inclusion, HCD ensures that products like the migraine tracking app are not only functional but also deeply resonate with the users’ needs and experiences. By understanding and addressing the specific needs of users, such as the need for a dark interface to accommodate photosensitivity, and by involving users in the design process, products can be tailored to provide maximum benefit and usability.


Ultimately, the HCD framework is about more than just creating products; it’s about crafting experiences that are meaningful, accessible, and empowering for all users. This approach not only leads to better user experiences but also fosters a culture of innovation within organizations, positioning them to outperform competitors and achieve greater market success.

As demonstrated by the migraine tracking app, when companies embrace Human-Centered Design, they are able to develop solutions that truly make a difference in people’s lives, paving the way for a future where technology and humanity converge harmoniously. So, if you need assistance in developing a game-changing system that catches both eyes and souls, please contact us, and we will be glad to make your idea come true.