Knowledge of human-centered design can prove helpful at the most unexpected times.
That observation comes with a story. I am writing this from the lobby of a very nice hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. I have no room booked in this hotel. In fact, I have no room booked anywhere. My flight, which was rescheduled due to a connection failure between Philadelphia and San Francisco, is not scheduled until around 5 a.m. the next day. The next day arrived six minutes ago.
I know this feeling, I thought before starting to write. This is how you feel at the d.school sometimes. I was entirely uncomfortable.
Then, much like a reflex, everything I had learned kicked in. I began to see my situation as an opportunity for a change in mindset and immersion. What would it be like to be a truly stranded passenger? What would I do? Where would I go, and what would I hope to find?