Brown Bag: Human Centered Design

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Thank you to everyone who came along and participated in our first ever Brown Bag event this Wednesday. Swathi Madike shared her experience of Human Centered Design, which can be used as inspiration for participatory development.

We were delighted with the turn out but for those unlucky enough to miss it, Swathi has summarised some tips for using Human Centered Design. She has even included some relevant links for further exploration of the topic.


What is Human Centered Design?

I was introduced to human centred design through service design studio classes taught while studying Industrial Design at RMIT.

It is about co-designing a solution by respecting and acting upon the expertise of the life experience of all stakeholders involved. To me it is about creating a joint sense of ownership of a solution between designers, service providers and users.

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Tips for using Human Centered Design

Prototype Iteratively – Tell yourself you will not get it right the first time, a mindset that allows for the growth of your concept.

Transparency and Trust – Your participants/users are intelligent people whose sense of discrimination should be respected.

Appreciate Boundaries – Appreciate that your participants/users are already creating change by attending a co-design workshop. Account for personality and professional differences to meet them halfway.

Be aware of your own agenda – Introspect on your intentions when entering a project. What are you hoping to gain? Are you the right person to be doing the job?

Any change has consequences – The process of evolution is that when the new enters, the outdated has to go. Keep in mind who the change is affecting and help them evolve their role.


Further Exploration of the Subject
Below are some resources for Human Centred Design.

This is Service Design Thinking
Convivial Toolbox
Value Proposition Design


Final Remarks
Thank you again for your excellent participation! Please do share below if you know of any other toolboxes, websites, articles or events that can help everyone be inspired to use creative methods in development.