What is human-centered design?

Human-Centered Design approach focuses directly on the users whose lives will be affected by a given project. Here at AYANA, we want to encourage sustainable solutions that are tailored specifically for the needs of a given group of people. Therefore, we utilize this specific design process during our youth innovation labs to demonstrate to young innovators that their ideas have substantial significance on surrounding individuals.

Human centered design focuses on the following phases:

INSPIRATION This stage consists of empathizing with a target population to understand their needs.

IDEATION This stage can also be known as the trial and error phase. Brainstorming and prototyping occur during this phase, and solutions are developed through listening and integrating the feedback of the users.

IMPLEMENTATION Design is executed through possible marketing and distribution. This could be, for example, the launch of the mobile library, or the conducting of a girls empowerment through ICT workshop.

These phases rely on understanding the situations of the target community. By having constant communication between the designer and users throughout the design process, solutions can be adapted and refined further to ensure a successful end result. In addition, because solutions are accommodated for the needs of a specific target population, designs can be embraced and integrated with greater ease.

At AYANA, we practice this specific approach in our curriculum through human insight worksheets to encourage our participants to empathize with those who will potentially be impacted by projects the youth are designing. We are constantly inspired by the depth of awareness young students exemplify for their community’s needs, and we are excited for further implementation of human centered designs.

This post was written by Fumika Hasegawa, an AYANA team member.