What is this?


This guide describes a cycle through a human-centered design process. It focuses on the front-end of a project: Discover new opportunities, better understand those for whom you are designing, and develop new potential concepts. Consider this as a useful guide to your first 20-100 hours of work on a project, and a description of tools and mindsets useful throughout your work.

The guide discusses the techniques and attitudes of design to advance you from an open-ended challenge, to a place with new insights, ideas, and prototypes. It is intended for someone with some experience using a human-centered design approach (perhaps in a learning orientation), and now working on a real project.

The guide assumes you have a challenge that would benefit from human-centered design, particularly:

  • You aim to better understand the people for whom you are designing;
  • You want to work in an action-oriented way (getting away from your desk and out in the world);
  • You aim to work both on “problem-finding” (discovering the meaningful opportunity), as well as problem-solving; and
  • The end solution is not yet dictated.


Thomas Both