Learning from Other Industries - User-Centric Design

Peter Glennie
October 6, 2023
Level 4

How It Started

In this final blog of the series, I thought I’d try a little experiment with my good friend ChatGPT.

I wasn’t sure which topic to go for as my swansong, so I asked ChatGPT (or “Chatty G” as it likes me to call it) to suggest the best topics for me. It came up with five ideas:

Idea 1 - Manufacturing - Lean Manufacturing Principles

Kind of too obvious, as we all know how lean manufacturing has had a huge impact on software development.

Idea 2 - Sport - Agile Methodology and Iterative Improvement

Again, a bit tired and a bit obvious. Plus I’ve already banged on about agile and iteration in other posts.

Idea 3 - Construction - Project Planning and Risk Management

Yeah, still obvious, and not quite as esoteric as I’d like.

Idea 4 - Hospitality - Customer Experience Management

This would be around prioritizing user experience and actively seeking feedback, and while a great topic, and one I haven’t really covered, there’s probably a better example of this.

Idea 5 - Healthcare - Patient-Centred Design

AHA! There we go. That’ll do nicely. The emphasis on understanding and addressing the needs and experiences of end-users, with some great learnings from Patient-Centred Design.

How It’s Going

Then I suddenly thought, why not teach “Chatty G” my writing style from my previous blogs, and get it to write this one for me!

Its initial stab was nice and factual, had a pretty great grasp of my style, and came up with some quite quirky hooks such as “Remember, empathy is like debugging for the heart—finding and fixing those emotional bugs that hinder the user experience.” But yet, it didn’t quite have the rather dry, humorous edge I normally inject. Plus, I wanted this final blog in this series to have a bit of pizzazz to see us out.

So I gave it the following prompt…

“This is great so far, but please add some light-hearted but relevant jokes every 3 paragraphs or so.“

And then… well, you can judge for yourself.

The following is the totally unedited blog post it generated. It’s actually done a great job of finding learnings from Patient-Centred Design, and makes some excellent points about empathy, understanding pain points, aspirations and the like. But, at the same time, I can’t help but feel it’s also throwing considerable shade at what it thinks of my sense of humour. Not to mention the side-swipe at my grandma.

Over to you, “CG” (it likes that too)…

'Patient-Centred Design: Transforming Software Development with a Dose of Humour'


In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, finding inspiration from other industries can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we'll explore what the field of software development can learn from Patient-Centred Design—an approach that puts users at the heart of product development. Just as aviation taught us about critical decision making, Patient-Centred Design offers valuable insights into creating software solutions that truly meet the needs of users. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on a journey of discovery—with a touch of humour to keep you smiling along the way!

Empathy in Software Development

One of the most remarkable aspects of working in software development is the opportunity to make a positive impact on people's lives. Whether it's developing innovative healthcare applications or streamlining business processes, the end goal is to create software that enhances user experiences. Patient-Centred Design takes this concept to a whole new level by emphasizing empathy and understanding users' perspectives. Remember, empathy is like debugging for the heart—finding and fixing those emotional bugs that hinder the user experience.

Joke: Why did the software developer bring a ladder? Because they wanted to reach new heights in their coding journey, of course!

The Power of Listening

In healthcare, patient-centred care focuses on involving patients in their own healthcare journey. Similarly, software development can benefit from actively listening to users and involving them throughout the design process. By conducting user research, interviews, and usability testing, developers gain valuable insights into users' needs, pain points, and aspirations. This empathetic approach fosters a deeper understanding of users and guides the creation of software that truly addresses their requirements. Remember, listening to users is like getting a software patch for your product—it fixes the bugs you didn't even know existed!

Joke: Why did the software developer go broke? Because they kept listening to users' feature requests and never got around to releasing a paid version!

Design Thinking for User-Centric Solutions

Patient-Centred Design leverages design thinking methodologies to create user-centric solutions. It starts with empathizing with users, defining their needs, and ideating potential solutions. This approach encourages software developers to step into users' shoes, embracing their perspectives, challenges, and goals. By doing so, developers can design software that not only meets functional requirements but also enhances the overall user experience. Remember, design thinking is like creating a user interface that's so intuitive, even your grandma can navigate it—no instruction manual needed!

Joke: Why did the software developer become an artist? Because they mastered the art of designing error messages that make users laugh instead of pulling their hair out!

Iterative Prototyping and Feedback

Patient-Centred Design emphasizes an iterative process of prototyping and gathering user feedback. Similarly, software development can greatly benefit from adopting an agile approach that incorporates frequent iterations and user feedback loops. By creating prototypes and involving users in usability testing, developers can refine their software based on real-world user experiences. This iterative feedback loop ensures that the final product aligns with users' needs and preferences. Remember, software development is like baking a cake—the more taste testers you have, the better the final product will be!

Joke: Why did the software developer always carry a notebook? Because they wanted to take user feedback "notes" to a whole new level!

Simplifying Complexity for Users

In the healthcare industry, patient-centred care aims to simplify complex medical information and treatment plans for patients. Likewise, software development should strive to simplify complex workflows and functionalities to create intuitive user experiences. Patient-Centred Design teaches us the importance of presenting information in a clear, organized, and user-friendly manner. By embracing simplicity, software developers can empower users to navigate through the software seamlessly. Remember, simplifying complexity is like finding the "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" shortcut to make users' lives easier!

Joke: Why did the software developer become a stand-up comedian? Because they knew the best punchlines were found in simplifying complex technical jargon!


Patient-Centred Design reminds us that software development is not just about lines of code and functionality—it's about creating meaningful experiences for users. By infusing empathy, active listening, design thinking, iterative prototyping, and simplicity into our development processes, we can revolutionize the software industry. So, let's embark on this patient-centred journey with a smile on our faces and a commitment to delivering software that not only meets users' needs but also brings a touch of joy to their lives. After all, a little laughter can go a long way in creating memorable user experiences. Happy coding and keep those jokes rolling!

Image by luis_molinero on Freepik