Hello, I am Jordan Scott, and I am the Human-Centered Innovation & Design Analyst at PPO&S. In this series of blog posts, I will be sharing the many different facets of HCD and how implementing it can elevate businesses and how neglecting it can hold them back. This kickoff post is a quick overview of what HCD is and its core components but first here are some quick statistics to help show WHY it is a necessity in your strategic planning. 

So, it is safe to say that worker satisfaction in this country is not nearly ideal and this paradigm does not only hurt the workers as individuals, it also affects the business as a whole. The goal for any company should be to identify if their workers feel like this and then to address these concerns head on. And the way that you do this is by utilizing human-centered design. 

What is Human-Centered Design? 

Human-Centered Design is a problem-solving approach that puts the people most affected by the problem at the center of the decision-making process by including them in the process. Doing this ensures that their needs are being considered when developing solutions and that these solutions address these needs as effectively as possible. Including them in the process and getting their input also helps to make sure you are addressing the root cause of the issue and not just a symptom that has stemmed from it. 

What does this process look like? 

This process has several variations but at its core it is an iterative multistep process. The first step is to empathize with the target group and discover their needs firsthand. The second step is to define the problem based on what was gathered in the first step. The third step is to ideate possible solutions based on the newly defined problem. The fourth step is to implement the best strategy/strategies that were identified in the ideate stage. Then finally you evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies to pinpoint areas of improvement for the next iteration. It is important to realize that this is a process that is meant to be done regularly to make sure that you are constantly improving as time goes on. 

How does this solve the problem? 

 In the scenario presented at the beginning of this post, employing this method would allow employers to find out why their employees do not feel satisfied and correct it. When you do not employ this method, you could be unaware that there is even a problem to fix. And this can cause the problem to continue to get worse over time creating a bad work culture, environment and reputation. Using this process, and doing it iteratively as intended, will guarantee that your work culture continues to improve over time making your current employees happier and more productive and also making your business competitive in the job market as a place people want to work when you are hiring.  

The HCD process is not only for internal relations. It can also help to foster relationships with clients and the community that your business is located in or provides services for. It can help with things such as mitigating risks of new services/ventures, increasing community perception and loyalty, improving quality of the products and services that your business provides, and so much more. 


To learn more about human-centered design and its capabilities, stay tuned for future blog posts.  

To find out what human-centered design can do for you and your business, contact our team here at Color & Culture. 

Color & Culture is an integrated family of brands and changemakers that provides culturally relevant, human-centered strategies to solve ever-evolving challenges.