Design | STEAMD Marketplace

What is human centered design?

Why do people create objects? Why would someone make a new type of phone or shoe? Is it just because they want to make it? Or maybe they are thinking of the person who will own and use that product?


When we are thinking of the person, the human who will interact with an object we create we are looking at human centered design. It’s a process that starts with the people we are designing something for and ends with new solutions that are made specifically for their needs.


Human-centered design focuses on three phases. 

  1. Inspiration
  2. Ideation
  3. Implementation


The Inspiration Phase is when you fully immerse yourself in the people you want to design something for. You observe them, talk to them, and deeply understand their needs. 


In the Ideation Phase you will take all of your knowledge from the Inspiration Phase and you will look for opportunities to create solutions that directly address the needs of the people you observed. 


The final phase is the Implementation Phase, actually creating your solution and bringing it to the people you observed to see if it addresses their needs. Maybe it is starting a training program, designing a new computer, or anything else. The purpose of this phase is to make something and test it. 


Human centered design makes sure that the things we create and make are for real people who need real solutions to complex problems. 


Let’s see if we can think of a design for someone in particular. You will be given a scenario about a person and you will try to design something for them. Remember to read their story and get inspiration from them. Once you have read the story move to the Ideation Phase and think of the best possible solution to their problem. You can draw a solution or write about it in your notebook. 


“Grandpa is an old man who is achy and sometimes a bit grouchy. He has trouble getting around, so he walks with a cane. He also has difficulty getting into and out of his chair, though he sits in his chair most of the day.”

When you are done, take a photo and share with iamtheCODE what you created by tagging iamtheCODE with #SDG4