Annex 4 - compilation of approaches

Human-centred design

Human-centred design (HCD) offers problem solvers a chance to design with communities: to deeply understand the people they’re looking to serve; to dream up scores of ideas; and to create innovative new solutions rooted in people’s actual needs. It encourages the belief that all problems, even the seemingly intractable ones, like poverty, gender equality, and clean water, are solvable. Moreover, it means believing that the people who face those problems every day are the ones who hold the key to their answer.

HCD is defined by its mindsets: empathy; optimism; iteration; creative confidence; making; embracing ambiguity; and learning from failure. Together, these encourage fearless yet grounded creativity, leading to innovation and solutions never dreamed of when projects are started. HCD has been used to successfully tackle an array of design challenges, from social enterprises to communication campaigns to medical devices.

The field guide to HCD from IDEO presents design as an iterative process comprising three main phases:

  • inspiration — understanding people, their hopes and desires
  • ideation — generating ideas, testing and refining them
  • implementation — taking the idea to market and maximising its impact.

Numerous practical tools are provided to assist each stage.

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