Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centred Design, Lesson One

For anyone considering taking this course, here are my initial thoughts.

  • The course is devised by IDEO.ORG, run by +Acumen and delivered online through a raft of training documentation and videos.
A diagram of the Human-Centred design phases, Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation.
  • The worksheets that I’ve seen so far seem easy to use and understand. Documentation of how to run meetings and workshops seems comprehensive.
  • The course requires you set up a team of 2–6 people to conduct “real-world” interviews and activities.
  • I’m leading a team with two colleagues, Atique Ahmad and Martha Edwards, both User Researchers (at the Cabinet Office, and GDS respectively) but it is possible to set up or join a team with people from across the world or whom you’ve never met — that is cool.
  • First impressions of the online learning environment are really bad. Building a team caused people problems as it was hidden beneath readings and videos for Lesson One when it felt as though it should have been part of the interface. For someone with low digital literacy I expect they would really struggle with this — I do it for a living and still found it stressful. Don’t get me started on all the icons and what they all mean. I still don’t know.
A photo of the online learning environment.
  • Lesson One is just an introduction to Human-Centred design, what it is, what it means, and how it should produce better results.
  • The first reading is in a PDF format and features a scan of an article which is really difficult to read. I have good eyesight and struggled, so I would think people with visual impairments would too. I haven’t tested it but I wonder if people with screen readers would even see it (e.g. if it’s an image), so that doesn’t feel very human-centred to me.
  • The videos were a much better introduction to the whole thing and were short, I’ve taken a couple of clips (below) which spoke to me.
David Kelley, Founder, IDEO “…try to get away with something.”
  • I especially like the quote from David Kelley “…try to get away with something.” I find myself doing that a lot… within reason, obviously ;)
Emi Kolawole, Editor-in-Residence, Stanford University, “…if you’re not surprised I would hazard a guess you’re doing it wrong”
  • Two of our team work part-time; that means we have only three days per week when we could meet, so planning sessions and meeting the deadlines is incredibly difficult. What the course doesn’t make clear is that you can do it in your own time and submit by the final deadline (11th April). So now we are all good.

We kick off Lesson two next week which is the “Inspiration” phase. That is, how to run interviews, how to listen, and more on empathy, which I’m looking forward to. I will blog more as we move through the lessons.