A Guide to Human-Centered Design

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Human-centered design is a process used to create products that truly meet the needs of those for whom they are intended.

Putting the Human Into Design

Human-centered designers really get to know their target audience. They truly want to understand the needs of others. To achieve this, they often step into the lives of consumers.

Designers develop several possible prototypes using the information gathered. The more prototypes created during this phase of the process, the better the results. This method increases the chance of finding a product that will resonate with consumers.

After prototypes are designed, they are shared with members of the target audience. Getting feedback on the prototypes is very important. Problems can still erupt even if designers understand the target audience.

Why Human-Centered Design Works

Most people, including designers and engineers, operate on a set of assumptions based on a set of limited experiences. One person can’t know everything. Human-centered design allows designers to use many opinions and experiences. The result is often a product people actually want and are willing to purchase.

Collaboration has become more important than ever. It’s an important component in developing concepts that are effective and do what they are intended to do. The human-centered design process collects far more data than the typical design process. The data is used to make sure that the end product does what it intends to do.

It’s still possible that human-centered design could result in a product that doesn’t resonate with the target audience. The chances of such a failure are far lower when a wide audience has shared  input into all parts of the process.

Human-Centered is Team-Centered

Human-centered design works best when team members resist taking individual credit for ideas, concepts and prototypes. Team members are much less likely to be forthcoming about their ideas if they are worried about who will get the credit. In human-centered design, all team members are encouraged to share the credit for a good idea that will help move the process along.

Florida Tech offers a master’s degree in human-centered design with a specialization in a number of different areas like complexity analysis or modeling and simulation. The program offers small class sizes, research opportunities and the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree after your master’s. Learn more about our Human-Centered Design program now!

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About Author

When I wasn't searching my house for secret passageways or scouring the neighborhood for hidden treasure, I spent much of my childhood reading. As an adult, in addition to a passion for marketing, social media and higher education, I write young adult fiction and create my own fantastical worlds for others to explore.

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