Converging Perspectives

Converging Perspectives
Week 6 – Converging perspectives talk with PDE tutor, Stewart Bailey

Stewart Bailey gave a very interesting and relevant talk about how we tackle human centered design in the product design engineering world. All the points discussed were very relatable to current projects I am undertaking and as well I know this information will be extremely useful as I enter my final year of university.

So, what is human centered design?

‘Designing products, services, systems and experiences that address the core needs of the people who encounter that very problem’. 

Stewart talked about the 4 key principles within HCD: 

People – Understand who is involved

System – Everything is interconnected

Problem – Discover the route of the problem

Continuous iteration – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

What HCD can bring to the design process is how it solely focuses on the person in need. It doesn’t get distracted with other considerations. If we want to solve a problem and create a product that will help people, then this is the best way to design. We want to make the world a happy place for everyone despite any struggles. 

As shown in the figure below, we don’t stop working after finishing the double diamond. We continue to evolve and improve the existing design. We are forever in βeta, always developing and adapting.

What is the difference between Human Centered Design (HCD) and User Centered Design (UCD)?

Initially, I didn’t realise there was a big difference between the two however, after Stewart went through the presentation it was clear the two are implemented at different stages within the process. HCD begins before the designing process. Firstly, start to analyse who you are designing for, what are their emotional and psychological preferences? A HCD design pyramid can be used to aid the process by addressing the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When & Why?). Can we justify our design decisions that directly support the requirements of our user?

UCD is introduced later in the design process understanding the physiological ways we interact with the product and how we can tailor the design to the target market.

Both of these points are extremely useful to consider as I progress with my current project and for future projects. 

23rd February 2021.

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