Human Centered Design
– Why Does It Matter?
By Joan Gregor
Co-Founder The Design Academy, CEO Intersection-Inc
February 8, 2016
We are entering an age of convergence, in which industry boundaries are blurring between healthcare, automotive and consumer technologies, products and services. Business challenges are rife with complexities such as new unexpected competitors, increased compliance and customers who have higher expectations and less loyalty.
Designing strategies to be more competitive and responsive to consumer expectations is becoming the hallmark of the most successful companies. Look around and you will see that everything – from the products we use, to the services we employ and the experiences we enjoy – has been designed. But not always has it been designed with the full human experience in mind. A growing trend is employing “human-centered design” into innovation and strategies to build winning products, services and companies.
Simply stated, Human-Centered Design is an approach that places people at the center of the development of products and services to improve business outcomes and create desirable experiences. It is a method to humanize technology and interactions by deeply understanding how and why all stakeholders engage in a meaningful way.
The renown Director at UCSD Design Lab, Don Norman, states, “Human-centered design is a framework for addressing complex issues at the intersection of people and technology, using evidence to guide continual refinement. It treats systems of people, organizations and technologies. It applies the findings of many fields, especially the cognitive, behavioral and social sciences through a process of doing and making, testing and probing, experimenting to make things better, working with specialists from relevant disciplines, as well as the people for whom the designs are intended.”
The Design Academy, Intersection-Inc.
San Diego, California
© 2016. Joan Gregor. All Rights Reserved
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Joan Gregor | Co-Founder, The Design Academy - CEO, Intersection-Inc.
Joan Gregor is co-founder and president of Intersection-Inc, a design consultancy fueling innovation through the lens of design by translating business strategy into meaningful user experiences, products and service by creating connections between companies, research, science, technology, markets, and internal teams.
As a strategist and grounded visionary, Joan deciphers the organic creative and product development processes into tangible and feasible strategies to drive growth and accelerate commercialization. With a focus on leveraging the value of design, she has consulted for such clients as GE Healthcare, CVS Pharmacy, Magna International, BMW/Designworks, NZ Better By Design, Bose, and Lifetime Brands to create exceptional and consistent user experiences, transform cultures, and empower leaders to visualize change. Her ability to stimulate intellectual and creative development through applied research in design has led to the development of business critical research and tools for design management challenges, innovation and concept filtering, customer co-creation workshops and corporate assessment programs.
As founder and partner of The Design Academy, she created The Power of Collective ThoughtTM methodolgy, a diverse network of design, research and academia to maximize innovation and minimize risk. She believes in approaching projects with a mentoring lens to increase client’s capability and create sustainable processes. Her vision, HUMIIN™, is to provide increased comfort, beauty and function to people through a better understanding of humans in their universal context through empathic and sustainable processes.
As an entrepreneur, she created with her partner, a retail product line, resulting in 5 patents, including all elements of business start-up to market launch and licensing.
Through her multinational clients and sense of adventure, she has travelled extensively contributing cultural insights and knowledge to her perspective on design thinking. She is an avid sailor and passionate about how design can make our world a better place.