I was very fortunate to have the wonderful privilege to take part in a workshop that revolved around HCD. This workshop was brought about by incredible individuals who run the iLab in Cambodia. The iLab HCD was so very useful and insightful as I think and go about doing development work. Going through this workshop was very eye-opening and helpful in learning new techniques and ways to make significant impact. I will attempt to share some of the valuable things I learned from the iLab HCD workshop.
What is HCD? HCD stands for Human-Centered Design (HCD) and it is a leading innovation methodology/process used to design innovative solutions for existing and new markets. It can be used for designing products, services, systems, new technologies or new educational programs.
To explain HCD simply, it is a toolkit that enhances the quality, feasibility, desirability and viability of your products or services. HCD enhance the chance that you will be able to align the solutions you come up with to meet the problem you set out to solve. HCD provides direction and insights that you would need to effectively bring about the appropriate product or service to satisfy your stakeholders. HCD will provide you with a guideline of the necessary steps need to bring about the most good.
One of the things I value about the HCD is that it is not focus on getting everything right and perfect in one instance, instead, it is about progress, not perfection. It is about testing and getting feedback from the attempted trails to help fine tune and bring about a more lasting solution that would stand the test of time.
Three takeaways that I am going to practice and apply as I work on my projects revolves around
i. Listen to your key stakeholders and draw insights from what they have to say, but do not stop there, observe what they do; does it match with what they say?
ii. Do not be too in love with your idea that you lose sight of the end goal. Ensure that you do not get stuck on your idea though you know that base on the feedback you have, the idea might not be the right match for the problem you hope to solve.
iii. Fail fast, fail early. Rapid prototyping is essential in bringing out an effective product or service. If you do not test, you will not know what else need to be fixed as you go forward. To do this well, it requires ensuring that you listen and pay attention to user’s feedback.
I would recommend HCD do anyone who cares about bringing impact into the work they do. Having the knowledge and using the HCD framework can make a huge difference and bring about productivity and quality in whatever services or products you decide to bring to life.
If there is any social entrepreneur, senior management, project manager, MBA student out there, I will highly recommend you find out what HCD can do for you. I promise, you will be thankful for it.
IDEO has been kind enough to open source the HCD toolkit. I have shared the link below in accessing it. I hope you take full advantage of it.