Developing a HCD process framework for designing solutions.
Design is no longer an artistic practice and creativity is not just an artist’s emotional expression. Designers are the solution to solving problems that enable people, businesses, and technology to impact how the world works. Through personal experience, experiments, and research, I’ve evolved from being an creative artist into a scientific designer. Designers who are systematic, methodic, and process driven innovate more strategically.
Human-centered design (HCD) is a design and management framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Human involvement typically takes place in observing the problem within context, brainstorming, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the solution.
Human-centred design is an approach to interactive systems development that aims to make systems usable and useful by focusing on the users, their needs and requirements, and by applying human factors/ergonomics, usability knowledge, and techniques. This approach enhances effectiveness and efficiency, improves human well-being, user satisfaction, accessibility and sustainability; and counteracts possible adverse effects of use on human health, safety and performance.
Solving a design problem is essentially finding order in chaos. As designers, we start with an abstract idea that will eventually become a concrete useable product. I’ve adopted a design approach based on Don Norman’s talk called “Principles of Human-Centered Design.” He talks about it in this short YouTube video. He evangelizes a mental framework called “The System” which inspires change through rearranging how you approach a problem.
Designers often begin a design process by identifying the things we are designing for, what Norman’s describes as “Interactivity.” This sets limitations and creates an inflexibility to innovate because we’ve prematurely identified the solution. Instead, Norman works on identifying the unknowns and focuses on “Desirability, Feasibility, and Viability.”
Ultimately the solutions designed will have gone through cycles of testing and iterations just like in an experiment. The feedback from users is then adapted into the final designs. I believe that in establishing a process, I’ve changed how I approach design problems. I’ve learned to start with the ideational desirability and turn them into concrete viability.