As the name suggests, human-centred design is the practice of solving complex design problems or forming a base method for a team to collaborate and work together on a product or project or creative art and understand the user problems and find the most appropriate solution for the people. This design method allows designers to focus on people’s needs and observe them as individuals and as societies with complex and deep-rooted problems. The human-centred design approach creates designers to think of the right problems for the product when addressed through population reviews and perform better analyses to co-design small and simple interventions. It helps facilitates complex intervention designs by addressing people at the centre of the problem-solving process. The best way of finding the solution is to understand through the user’s experience, which is why human-centred design plays a key role in designing a product allowing the designer to reach each stage of innovation to be shaped by the needs of the people being served. The uniqueness of the HCD approach is the multidisciplinary project team. It draws together different aspects of design such as sciences, development practice, the creativity of product, and challenges from diverse standpoints and roots the research and experiences from different disciplines to understand better in finding a solution. Had helps to stimulate the cross-pollination of ideas and facilitates continuous collaboration in different sectors and partnerships, which helps create the required conditions to innovate for a complex product. It gives the designer a particular mindset with different methods of approaching and solving the issue with more agility and synergy possible to be creative in participating and researching profoundly and trying to immerse in local date evolving realities of the design on the ground and to gather cross/ cutting perspectives and entry points into the issues of it and ultimately it will help the designer to identify the challenge and transform it to potential opportunities for solutions.
Key features of human-centred design
Direct engagement with users is one of the main features of HCD, which allows a designer to observe the real users by watching them interact with them, trying to research them in many ways like questionnaires and interviews with them, and understanding and gaining the experience to evaluate the actual problem of the design or any complex issues of any design. This is the basic idea of finding the right problem for the product. HCD allows the designers to research and understand the context of use, which is an influential label and fairly self-descriptive; it is all about how systems are employed in the real world. The context of use is critical to understand where, for example, the design for a dry, clean, and warm environment in an office is different from the design for a factory or warehouse environment. Hence, HCD allows the designer to think from the user’s perspective, focusing on the suitability of solutions for real users in the actual context of use. The design process will be as follows: designers will first analyse the needs of user-centered design, then research the context of use, followed by specific user requirements, and finally produce design solutions after concluding some evaluations based on user requirements. The loop continues by adjusting different requirements using usability scripts or testing tools until the final requirement is reached.
The focus of evaluation activity with usability testing is on the tool, which is very important to understand the quality of the product. Based on the user’s experience, the problem is identified to improve the quality or tackle the right problem in the design. The human-centred design also considers that some users have slightly different requirements than the majority of similar users and that users from different backgrounds and with different expertise will assist designers in catering to the different needs of the same product, which helps designers solve many designs or product issues. So, these key features of human-centred design enable designers to solve complex problems of products or interventions of solutions into the design; research of contexts to use will aid in understanding user requirements and identifying problems where prototypes, low-fidelity or paper prototypes, can be created as early as possible to tackle the problem and realistically test it with potential users; and, finally, timescales will allow for feedback and design change. These user-defined tools and techniques can also be promoted by raising awareness among the workforce to assist people in understanding the specific problem of the product and developing an appropriate solution for it.
Principles of human-centred design
The principles of human-centred design can be applied to any complex issues of any specific design in the world, not concerning its field that could be related to politics, economics, education, etc.
To understand the true nature of the issue that users face with a specific product design, it will help designers understand the proper way of seeing the problems that users face and make ideas and better attempts concerning a solution. Designers may find this tool better to observe the user and live amongst the people they wish to serve.
Solve the right problem.
The designers will try to dig deep and scrutinise cause-and-effect chains, where there are often complex links in a design system and uncover the root causes. Making early prototypes and evaluating user requirements also facilitates the designer’s ability to make early changes in design without creating much waste in the product.
Everything is a system.
The other forces at work in a design process include working through a cause-and-effect chain that will help identify different requirements of users with different expertise, and the designers will get a clear idea of doing a system analysis to find the right connections in the system and knock-on effects, etc.
Doing small and straightforward interventions to tackle the most critical problem.
The human-centred design approach will try to bring a more immediate and more sustainable solution to the problem or issue related to any product design. Designers will tweak it when results seem promising and keep learning from the evaluation scripts of users. When a face is to a user, human-centred design broadens the view far beyond the social world of populations facing problems of highly complex designs and systems frequently tangled up in large, sophisticated systems. The designers of the twenty-first century use this tool to analyse wicked problems and complex socio-technical systems to accommodate the needs of groups of people to help design better features in products that can help users serve smoothly and also to analyse complex issues related to the products without falling into the old trap of designing only what one thinks will work.
The human-centred design allows designers to think beyond the monoculture of reality, where everyone learns from the same universities, books, and conferences, and thus everyone thinks the same way, but human-centred design breaks this bond and allows one’s imagination to think beyond and find chances of surviving a disaster by diversifying there will be more chances to overcome the challenges and find solutions to the disaster. Be it any system, political or economic, the human-centred design system will change the way of seeing the world and many other things concerning global problems. It is a new economic model so one can learn better from other observations, experiences, and traditions and serve the ultimate end of making the world a better place. Understanding the perspective of the person for whom the product is designed as part of the human-centred design process. The designers will arrive at new ideas that are embraced and design better solutions if truly a user experience is involved. This tool focuses on people’s everyday emotions and behaviour. It is a process where it can involve the end user in the beginning phase and is placed at the centre of the design process for better solving the issues.
Forsey, caroline.(2019) Using Human-Centered Design to Create Better Products (with Examples) Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/human-centered-design
Norman,Don (2021) Humanity-Centered Design. Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/humanity-centered-design
Miklos, Philips. (2018) The Importance of Human-centered Design in Product Design.Available at: https://www.toptal.com/designers/ux/human-centered-design
NNgroup,Principles of Human centred design,user psychology and UX Available at youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJOFJ3Ok_idsHSibHAy0naQFW2gmCS5XK: