When working as a human centered designer with a company, either as a consultant or an employee, the work the designer does begins and ends with people - their needs, their wants, their problems and challenges. The designer observes, interviews, and documents people to discover their needs and challenges. From there, the designer prototypes in response to what they've learned in order to test assumptions and iterate as needed. At the end of the day, it's about understanding people and creating meaningful services, systems, and products that meet the needs of the company's end user.
Now what that means for the internet startup (the community I've been a part of for the past year in Philadelphia) is that the human centered designer can help to understand, communicate, and refine the systems the startup's a part of, the people they're reaching out to, the services or products they're creating, and conveying how they all fit together. The role I've begun to fill is that of a thinker, a researcher, and a maker - and collaboration is the at the root of everything I just said.
You may also enjoy reading:
- Reflections on Design Research: Framing the Problem, Part 2
- Reflections on Design Research: Framing the Problem
- Simulating the Future of Political and Cultural Forces
- Creativity: Combining and Recombining
- Persuasive Technologies and the Spectrum of Responsibility: A Metaphysical Exploration of the Ethical Capacity of Computers
- From Neuroscience and Philosophy to Design: Some Thoughts on Thinking and Solving
- The Shopping Mall and The Design Process
- Explaining Design to Non-Designers
- Revisiting Design's Value to Business
- Design vs Business: What Value Does Design Add to Business?
- Design Research: The IDEO Way
- Fourth Order Design: The Underlying Structure of Communities and Moral Obligations of Designers