Principles for Design & Development

Building Human-Centered Design into ICT4D Projects: An Interview with Danny Alexander and Sean Hewens of

By United Methodist Communications

Q: What is human-centered design?

A: [Sean]: Human-­‐centered design is a problem-solving process that puts humans at the very center. There are three key tenets.

First, immerse yourself within the community as much as possible [to understand the problem]. You can start very specific with folks in the community. Learn from them as much as possible.

Second, you focus on brainstorming and prototyping rapidly. The idea with brainstorming is to go as broad as you can with ideas. Use what you learned from the community and ideate.

Third, you get those ideas back out to the community to get feedback from real users as quickly as possible in the form of prototypes. Our early prototypes often fail, but in a way that allows us to iterate and refine our ideas based upon feedback from real users.


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