First Steps to Human-Centered Design Thinking
“Human-centered design thinking is a philosophy, not a precise set of methods, but one that assumes that innovation should start by getting close to people and observing their activities.” — Donald A. Norman, Co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group.
During our creative journey in “Dare to challenge,” we acted as social innovators and took responsibility to impact and change our community positively. The purpose of this project was to get familiarized with the methodology of human-centered design thinking and implement it in our social innovation -SDG- related project. We followed the steps of “The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design” by IDEO.org.
What is a human-centered design, and why does it matter? Also known as design thinking or user-centered design, it puts people at the core of its products and programs. It is about “designing with,” aiming to truly meet the beneficiary, customer, or client’s needs. “It is about believing that all problems, even the most difficult ones, can be solved.”
Framing our challenge, we started by stating the problem we are trying to solve. We want everyone to strive for World Peace and their rights as human beings.
How might we improve world peace? Peace starts with you. All of us can choose to make society more just and peaceful or more unjust and warlike.
To approximate world peace, we must resolve the individual issues that constitute it. Start by stamping out exclusion, bring true equality between women and men, share our wealth fairly, tackle climate change, display less hubris and make more policy change. Also, protect political space, fix intergenerational relations, build an integrated peace movement, and last but not least, look within.
Some primary constraints to the above are geopolitical aggression and stubbornness — the practice of relabeling conflicts as counter-terror struggles and legacies of military intervention and regime change. Lastly, struggling humanitarianism stands for inadequate resources to assist the victims of war.
Design a Challenge
We are creating a “Loving Vibes” event as internal innovators of Coca-Cola.
During this stressful period, humanity faces the crisis and violation of human rights and fights for world peace amid the pandemic; we want to spread the message of love and understanding and create positivity and “loving vibes.”
We are hosting an event that requires a small entrance fee. It will include performances of artists, and it will be hosted and attended by influencers that will also help with the promotion of the event. Moreover, it will comprise interactive games with prizes that our sponsors will provide. By playing games, the participants will be able to collect points and donate to nonprofit organizations. Lastly, we will hold booths for donating to NGOs.
Considering the COVID-19 conditions, our event will take place in real life, taking all the necessary safety measures. At the same time, it will be broadcast online for all interested parties who cannot attend. We will implement social distancing, and masks will be obligatory. In case that the COVID-19 conditions do not allow us to carry out the event as a real-life experience, we have prepared infrastructure to transfer it online.
Create a Project Plan
As far as the budget is concerned, we will need a considerable amount from our sponsorship and some of our company’s expenses.
Regarding the staff, we will need a small team of coordinators that will take on different parts to actualize the event. Additionally, a group that will help set up space for the event (stage, food canteens, etc.) and finally, people to ensure social distancing and masks.
Due to the pandemic, people might be hesitant to attend. Most participants might be from local areas because of the travel restrictions. It might not be possible to get sponsors due to the business and financial crisis caused by COVID -19. Artists and Influencers might not have free time for the event in their tight schedule.
All in all, human-centered design helps organizations develop and build new and ambitious ideas. It brings together different thinkers and makers — people who bring different disciplinary perspectives, cultural understandings, and creative abilities. As a result, it helps us forge new partnerships inspiring social innovators and entrepreneurs to take action.
Professor: Betty Tsakarestou