Human Centred Design: creating the mindset

A black woman stands in front of a yellow backdrop with the DEVEX logo. She is holding a blue sheet with the words One HumanityListening to what the intended users might want in any kind of design makes sense in any context, but is essential when taking aid programs to developing countries. Dreaming up a great idea in a Western boardroom is not the way to go when thinking global development says Devex representative, Catherine Chaney. Devex is a media platform for the global development industry. Human Centred Design is not a new idea. The Institute for Human Centered Design based in Boston has a long history of promoting this process worldwide. The CEO, Valerie Fletcher recently spoke at Auckland Conversations about this. But it requires a change in thinking – a change in the mindset of designers. Catherine Chaney writes on How to Develop a Human Centered-Design Mindset using examples from several developing countries and links to other documents. Videos of local people and others are included in this article and should make us wonder why designers in (so-called) developed nations are not picking up on this. At least the front cover of the DFAT Guideliens for aid programsAustralian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has published a guide to universal design for organisations undertaking aid programs overseas. Internationally, at least, we want to be seen as supporting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.