When you let people participate in the design process, you find that they often have ingenious ideas about what would really help them. And it’s not a one time thing; it’s an iterative process.
As a person that is trained in design, I get asked quite often what are some of the frameworks we use. The creative process is a practice that requires nurturing, and repetition. And yet, on a daily basis, it fascinates me. There are few tools that I love working with everyday: especially HCD. Even though it includes the word “design,” Human Centered Design (HCD) is actually a mindset that anyone can apply. It means that you’re tapping into the resources, mindsets and behaviors that a designer uses. You're starting to think like a designer— about how you can significantly improve the current experience of people you serve: your end-users. Instead of just stating ten things that you can do to launch your product/service, start by asking what is needed out there? Who are the people who really need your solution, what's it doing for them? Are the people you build things for able to accomplish their goal better with your approach? Thinking this way will require you to consider an unusual paradigm. Accept that you may not have all the answers at the beginning. Empathize and put yourself in your users' shoes. Align. Find congruence to their specific needs. And then you may find not one, but many solutions! In the VUCA world we operate in, it's increasingly important to expand the mind in this manner. Why? Because eventually you'd want the product or service you're building to be useful to humans, somewhere... isn't it? And for it to be relevant to a human, you'd have to be solving a problem, making something easier than before, at times redefining the criteria for success. Which is what HCD focuses on. You'd have to do one of the things that most people forget to do: build your product, service or experience— putting a human at the center!
#uxury Blog Post #1 in 'Human Centered Design' Series