Human “Centered” Design

Florence Lafite
2 min readAug 13, 2019

Human Centered Design or Human Centered Design thinking is an approach to problem solving by involving human perspective in all steps of the process.

If it is Human Centered, then literally it should include all of the individuals involved in the process. Yet it is heavily focused on creating meaningful experiences for the end user only, in other words, it is a User Centered Design philosophy.

As designers we are trained to understand and solve complex systems including products/services/stakeholders. We call ourselves UX designers, Product designers, Interaction designers, Service designers, Experience designers and so on. All different labels that are aimed at solving various problems outside of ourselves.

What if we could apply a design thinking method to solve problems within ourselves, within an organization, and place Humans at the CENTER of everything?

Interestingly enough, there is a system called Human Design, created in 1989 by Ra Uru Hu, which in theory has nothing to do with HCD, yet both share many similarities:

1. They use charts

Human Centered Design

Human Design

2. They are designed as a tool to understand the user

3. They use a non linear process which includes similar steps such as understanding, observing, defining, testing

4. They include steps that bring some Aha moments yet necessitate iterations

5. They keep the very people/individual at the heart of the process

Human Design, which combines a synthesis of ancient and modern sciences, is one of the many tools out there for human understanding. This science of self-discovery can help anyone gain insights into their own unique nature such as psychology, talents, strengths, gifts, and a general understanding of how one can operate. One can quickly see how this could be applied to business growth.

Human Centered Design as currently interpreted and used could be SO MUCH MORE.

It could include not only the end user but the people “designing” for the end user. The latter would involve many different participants within an organization, not only the designers but all of the other departments that are involved directly or indirectly, because everyone and everything is connected.