Human-Centered Design: How to Focus on People When You Solve Complex Global Challenges

by Rikke Friis Dam | | 11 min read

When we design products and services, we use human-centered design insights to help us focus on the people. But how do we focus on the people in the context of complex global challenges? What should we be aware of? What are the pitfalls? And when should we reach out to help people? In this video, Don Norman will tell you how he thinks we can learn from the people-centered principle of human-centered design and how we can strive to solve complex global challenges.

“When you design, you have to understand what the capabilities are of the people you're designing for.”

— Don Norman

So, how can we start to leverage the power and insights of the local people? Don Norman, who coined the term “user experience,” will help us understand how to use community-based design and let the people drive the projects. Let’s watch.

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Cognitive Science building at UC San Diego. by AndyrooP (CC-BY-SA-4.0)
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The 4 Principles of Human-Centered Design: People-Centered

Text that says 4 Principles of Human-Centered Design. The first is People-Centered, which is highlighted. The second is Solve the Right Problem, the third is Everything is a System and the fourth is Small and Simple Interventions.

People are at the heart of human-centered design. As Don Norman explains above, when we tackle complex global challenges, we should not design for people. Instead, we should involve and design with the people who are closest to those challenges.
© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0

References and Where to Learn More

Read Don’s insight-laden book The Design of Everyday Things to learn more about Human-Centered Design.


© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0

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