Things you need to know about HCD(Human-centered-design)

I have introduced you to what is design thinking, AKA, HCD(Human-centered-design). Based on my understanding, the term design thinking is more known in the business sector, while HCD is more developed in the charity filed. I still remember the awkward moment when I was in an interview for the consultant position, the interviewer asked me to analyze a situation with design thinking, but I said I only knew about HCD and I did try to give some comments on that, but in the end, the interviewer said actually the design thinking is the same thing with HCD. You can imagine how awkward was it at that moment. I blame myself for lacking enough research.

Anyway there are major two methods on the market, one is developed by Standford University and another is given by IDEO, but they both refer to the same thing. I will share with you the IDEO one which I actually learned.

Credit to

HCD adopts several mindsets and it encourages the learners to bear those in mind, they are 1 Creative confidence. It believes that everyone can be creative and we should have that confidence. Trust in your ability to generate creative solutions to big problems. 2 Empathy. It is the mindset that to step into other’s shoes, to understand their life situation and then see problems from their perspective. 3 Embracing ambiguity. It means to start with something you don’t know, and sometimes answers come from those uncertainties. 4 Make it. It encourages people to go out of the office, to truly interact with people and make the solution tangible. 5 Failure. We always say failure is the mother of success, and in HCD we believe it is better to fail earlier and soon than later. 6 Iterating. It is the mindset that requires a constant check and upgrades, to improve the work regularly. 7 Optimism. we have to believe that we can arrive at the destination to somewhere, and treat challenges as another chance.

HCD consists of three parts. inspiration, ideation, and implementation, which I will introduce them one by one below.

Inspiration is to get inspiration from others and get to understand their feeling. So how to do it?

You have to understand the problem you want to deal with deeply, from the economical, societal, environmental, historical and political perspective if it is applicable to your problems. This can be done by doing academic research through google scholar, interviewing people who directly or indirectly affected and also those experts who have the authority on this topic; immersing ourselves in their context, in the way that we can observe their actions and habitual movements. Except that, we can also go to the analogous situation, which has the same problem but within a different context.

Ideation is to make your information meaningful, which means in this step, we have to find potential opportunities from what we have gathered from the inspiration stage.

First, we have to gather information with the group and share what we have learned from doing research and interview. Then find the common theme within that information, to generate connections and insights. Besides, we shape the”How might question”, this is to reframe the problem and find the potential solutions.

The next step is to make our solution tangible. It includes Brainstorm and prototype.

I believe most people have heard brainstorm, and it is very common in our working life. But do you know there are some rules when we apply brainstorm? First, there is no judgment and everyone should feel comfortable expressing their thoughts. Second, we encourage wild ideas because we don’t know where are good ideas come from. The third we better build ideas based on others, to apply a positive response. The forth we should stay focus on the topic, otherwise, it is different to control the wild brain. The fifth we promote one conversation at one time, to show respect and attention. The sixth its better to be visual, pictures always have stronger power than words. The last one is going for quantity, to generate as many as ideas possible.

Brainstorm is the tool to help people generate ideas and the prototype is the stage to help that idea comes true. Basically, we build either physical, environment or service prototype to emphasize our ideas. Here HCD requires building prototypes as simple as possible, in the way that is enough to carry out our ideas. This is a constant process because we have to build the prototype and test it with the people we are designing for, then improve our prototype based on the feedback.

Implementation looks at how to carry ideas out to the real world. The first is to do iterating, even though your ideas already exist but it will never be perfect. Carry this thought on your mind and then do the pilot, where you actually test your ideas with the whole system, the stakeholders, the customers, the market, the delivering and etc

Credit to IDEO designkit

I have shared with you the essential parts of HCD till now, and please click here which is the official IDEO guides and here this online course if you want to explore more.

This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

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