How to use human-centered design to build denser, more communal cities

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Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

Driven by rapid population growth, technological advancement, and ecological uncertainty, the need for sustainability in cities has created an opportunity for designers to pause and consider what life will look like in the next 20, 50, and 100 years. It is a moment that will define not only what future cities will look like, but also what they feel like.

Designing density in cities is high on the agenda of urban designers and city planners. …

3 design trends that are improving connectivity, community, and collaboration

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Photos: Unsplash

It is an exciting time to be an experience designer. With the recognition that human-centered design is necessary across multiple industries, and thought-leaders pushing the urgent need for collaboration, the importance of experience design for health, diversity, and inclusion is being acknowledged and, more importantly, acted upon. An area where this is prevalent is in the urban design and planning world, where UX enables more effective solutions that deliver great urban experiences for citizens.

First life, then spaces, then buildings — the other way around never works.

—Jan Gehl

Over the past few weeks, I have gathered some key insights from events, Meetups, and general reading that I would like to share with you here. …

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The experience economy continues to boom as consumers are increasingly investing in experiences over ‘things’. As a result, designers must respond to the ever-growing demand for ‘newer and richer’ experiences. The need to create bigger and better, often with added pressure from clients, can often lead to the design of ‘overloaded’ experiences. New interactive technologies are tempting and the ‘social share opportunity’ seems unavoidable, but do they align with your end goal without distracting from meaning and message?

Outlined below are 4 things to consider when designing an experience, to help ensure that consumers leave with the emotions, motivation and fresh perspective that you intended. …

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

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What is an experience?

When was the last time you had an experience? Was it last week when you went out for dinner with friends? Perhaps it was a few weeks ago when you paid someone to lock you in a room until you could escape via a series of puzzles? Was it just a few seconds ago when you took a sip of coffee? Or, is it right now whilst you read this? In a world that demands more and better experiences everyday, it can be easy to forget what an experience actuallyis, why we want them so badly and why they seem to be getting more and more expensive… Over the course of a few articles (and by falling down many rabbit holes), I am hoping to answer some of these questions and discover why experiences are so vital to our personal growth, creativity and happiness. …


Heidi Benham

Exploring how we can design environments that inspire success, health and wellbeing

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