We have all been in the room when executives pronounce that they have found the mystical key to success. “Starting right now we are going to be entrepreneurial and innovative. We are going to focus on Human Centered Design and institute Design Thinking and Design Thinking Processes. Now go forward and change the world!” So great, job done… but somehow nothing changes in the organization!
It seems like just yesterday Human Centered Design was the hottest thing around the water cooler and today’s “new” trend is the even hotter topic of Design Thinking and Design Thinking Process. So, what are they all about and which is better suited to deliver results for your organization?
Human Centered Design
Also known as User Centered Design, Human Centered Design focuses on the human desire or need for a solution as the focus throughout a design process. This process is structured to design a solution (product or service) that will work for and want to be adopted by… humans. It is subjective in nature because human perception is primary in the equation. Simple concept, right!? Unfortunately, all too often something gets lost in translation and the process tends to work the human centered element out of the equation.
Inspiration ~ Ideation ~ Implementation
Design Thinking is an ideology similar to Human Centered Design. It focuses on objectively understanding the end user’s desire or need for a solution and building a solution that will fulfill the original desire or need. Being objective in nature, it tends to be easier to manage through a process, but on its own, it is limited in its efficacy.
Empathize ~ Define ~ Ideate ~ Prototype ~ Test
Human Centered Design or Design Thinking; Which One Is Right for Your Organization?
The short answer is that it is not a question of one or / vs the other. They are each unique ideologies. One of them is extremely subjective and the other is distinctively objective. Regardless of labels, experience shows that having formalized process helps lead to stronger performance. If both of these ideologies or simply both a subjective and objective lens can be applied over top of a process that is formalized and then refined over time, performance should continue to increase.
Normally we close ours blogs with a Final Bell, but this week we wanted to hear from both our founding partners, EVP & Partner, Laura Richard and Group President & CEO, James Chalmers.
James’ Final Bell
“When I first started thinking about the need in the marketplace for a consultancy like TACK10 Strategy, I was President of a design and engineering firm. I appreciated the formality of process and continuous improvement. At the same time, I loved the creative aspect of how we worked through the conceptual design phase of a project, led by industrial designers who were fluid and centered by the human experience. It was a beautiful dance between two very different worlds. They were not competitive, rather, they challenged each other as they intersected and layered over one another to create an authentically balanced process. In developing and refining our T10 Methodology along with the products, tools, services, seminars, workshops, coaching and training that has followed, Human Centered Design and Design Thinking ideologies have been overlaid on process to create formality that leads to significant measurable quantitative and qualitative results. Think of it as Human Centered Design Thinking.”
Laura’s Final Bell
“Throughout my career in sponsorship and as I began challenging brands and properties to leverage strategic partnerships, process and structure became increasingly valuable. Without having to apply labels to it, we focused on understanding the root causes or desire for engagement and looked to deliver partnerships that would address both the objective and subjective elements to create solutions that would yield fantastic results while ultimately being widely adopted and accepted by all stakeholders. This has led to major revenue growth and cost diversion for partners and significant increases in brand affinity and loyalty.”