Human-centered design a.k.a. design thinking is a methodology “in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process” (Wikipedia). Here at ENGAGE, we attempt to design our programs with constituents or end-users in mind, and we strive to be cognizant of the human interactions and human impact of all of our work.
We are finding that there is a demand among students to learn concrete tools for doing human-centered work, and we will be offering programs and workshops along those lines in the months to come.
To start: Acumen and IDEO.org are offering a free online course entitled “Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design,” and a group of students and staff from Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship have decided to gather on campus each week to experience this course together. The 7-week course will begin on October 14 and conclude on December 9. Group meetings will be Fridays 4-6 p.m. in the PCSE Board Room (Allbritton 022). Each week, participants will explore human-centered design concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos, then they will work in groups of 2-6 (“design teams”) to practicing the relevant human-centered design methods.