Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s the backbone of all our work at IDEO. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing with and ends with new solutions that are purpose-built to suit their needs. Human-centered design is about cultivating deep empathy with the people you’re designing with; generating ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made together; and eventually, putting your innovative new solution out in the world.
Design thinking frequently asked questions (FAQ) (no date) IDEO. IDEO. Available at: https://designthinking.ideo.com/faq/whats-the-difference-between-human-centered-design-and-design-thinking (Accessed: October 21, 2022).
I joined Academy of Design (AOD) in Sri Lanka to teach Language of Design to foundation students. I was not given a curriculum, but the freedom to design my own. Within the first semester, I realised that what these fresh minds needed was the ability to design for others, to be that selfless designer. I wanted the students to think of 'language' as their own form of communication, and how it can be understood by others in heart level as well as a head level. The next year, I called it Human Centred Design based on Empathy not to have it confused with UX/UI design. More research showed IDEO as a company that has a very similar ideology when it comes to design especially concerning research. The education in the Visual Communication department at AOD is heavily based on researched insights and concepts, and this is a practice I still apply to my work.
I used a combination of IDEO's process of Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation and my own ideas of how to get the students understand themselves first and then step out to understand others. The in-depth research, questioning layer by layer until an life-altering insight is found, and catering to the 'real' problems are commonalities found in both, that has been combined to be more structured.