People often have a tendency of identifying key problems in our community and then start generating solutions immediately without much consideration of the actual people the issues affect in the first place.
Human-centered design is an approach to solving complex problems through innovation by focusing on people. Utilizing design thinking strategies and other tools, a team comes together believing they can make a difference. They use an intentional process to explore new, relevant solutions that produce positive change. This intentional process includes two key elements.
HUMAN-CENTERED - The process centers on gaining insights from observing and engaging with people and developing empathy related to understanding their needs, motivations, and behavior.
DESIGN - Having the freedom to dream about, generate, and explore NEW solutions, and then testing those solutions out (over and over again) with community members.
This post is the first of a series dedicated to helping readers understand design thinking (or human centered design) and its application through the United Way Hub for Social Innovation.