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Human-Centered Design

Human-Centered Design is a strategy that puts stakeholders first and can be used for any aspect of health research from determining a study question to effective recruitment, retention, dissemination. It can also be used to help design study interventions or product/solution design. While Human-Centered Design is a highly adaptable approach, most include stakeholders in the following three phases 1) Listening/ Brainstorming around issue or question 2) Coming to consensus on a method/question/ solution to test. 3) Testing method/question/solution 4) Seek feedback and repeat steps one and two until researchers and stakeholders are satisfied that original purpose of engagement has been achieved.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Product/service development far fa-clock Time Frame

A couple of weeks to a few months, depending on process intensity

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Building effective, safe, human-centered products far fa-scrubber Generating ideas far fa-scrubber Innovation far fa-scrubber Collaboration far fa-scrubber Understanding and tackling complex problems far fa-scrubber Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders far fa-scrubber Promoting consensus building far fa-scrubber Testing multiple hypotheses and possible solutions far fa-scrubber Adding value to qualitative data Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Quick, inexpensive engagement far fa-scrubber Translating certain types of data into design far fa-scrubber Projects that require a solution-oriented approach (requires an interpretive mindset rather than an analytical one) far fa-scrubber Projects with insufficient resources for innovation far fa-scrubber Producing quantifiable measures of extent of engagement Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Incentives for participants far fa-scrubber Reimbursement for travel far fa-scrubber Depending on your industry, you may need to budget FTE for your team fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Pens far fa-scrubber Post-its (lots of them and in different colors) far fa-scrubber Meeting space for brainstorming far fa-scrubber Technology to conduct virtual interviews fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Developer(s) to bring product to life far fa-scrubber Skilled qualitative interviewer(s) and analyst(s) far fa-scrubber Diverse team to provide a variety of insights and ideas How To Identify a problem. Conduct fieldwork.
  • Learn from People: Consider the core user and the extended community you are designing for. Interview 8 or more individuals from this group.
  • Learn from Experts: Interview some of the inspiring researchers or organizations in the space of your design challenge. You might also want to consider interviewing successful members of the target population you are designing for. Interview 3 or more experts.
  • Immerse Yourself in Context: Gain inspiration by spending time in places where you can have experiences relevant to your challenge. Visit 4 or more locations.
  • Seek Analogous Inspiration: Ask yourself, “What are the activities, emotions, and behaviors that make up the experience of your challenge?” Select similar scenarios you would like to observe in places and situations that are different than your design challenge. Visit 3 or more locations.
Compile and analyze data collected during fieldwork. Create insight statements.
  • Cluster information into themes, then write down three concise sentences that explain why the theme you've identified describes a challenge for the people in the community you spoke with. Do this with all themes.
Create "how might we" questions.
  • Looking at your insight statements, create questions that begin with "how might we". For instance, if one of your insights is that existing technology cannot be moved from one location to the next, your how might we question might be: "How might we redesign these technologies to be more portable?"
Brainstorm solutions to your "how might we" questions.
  • Find sufficient wall space to hang and display your ideas.
  • Provide everyone with at least one stack of post-its and a marker to write with.
  • Write questions largely and clearly and put them up on the wall.
  • Review brainstorming rules as a group: defer judgment, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others, stay focused on topic, one conversation at a time, be visual, go for quantity, one idea per post it.
  • Hang one opportunity on the wall at a time and spend 10 minutes per opportunity.
Select your best ideas that came out of the brainstorming activity.
  • Review all ideas as a group and set aside the most promising ideas. Then have team vote anonymously (on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being least and 5 being most) based on:
    1. Instinctively, how excited the idea makes you.
    2. How innovative and different the idea feels from what's out there.
    3. How practical and realistic the idea is.
Select ideas to move forward with. Create storyboards.
  • Break your concept into bite-sized pieces that can be easily made and tested. Storyboards are visualizations of the end-to-end experience a user might have with your idea over time.
    1. Visualize the experience that a person might have with your idea over time (beginning, middle, end). E.g. how will this person find out about your idea? What will their first experience with the product or service be like? How does the experience culminate at the end?
    2. Identify the ideal type of person you're designing for. Give this person a name and write down a few characteristics about them (name, age, profession, etc.).
    3. Draw the key moments your team has identified in the journey of the person experiencing your product or service. Rough sketches are fine.
    4. As a group, discuss the experience map you've just created. Do you need to rearrange the order of the post-it notes? Are there key steps in the journey that you've missed? If yes, add them now.
    5. For each moment you've sketched, give that moment a title on the post-it and write a brief description of what's happening.
Determine what to prototype.
  • Now that you've created a storyboard, it's time to identify and prioritize the questions you'll need to answer with your prototype.
    1. Now that you've created a storyboard, it's time to identify and prioritize the questions you'll need to answer with your prototype
    2. Once you've identified questions you need to answer, work as a group to brainstorm different types of prototypes that will help guide answers to each question.
    3. Decide which questions make sense to answer first.
Prepare for prototyping.
  • Select an idea to prototype and identify the more important elements to test first.
    1. Create a model: put together simple three-dimensional representations of your idea.
    2. Create a mock-up: Build mock-ups for digital tools or websites with simple sketches of screens of paper. You can paste paper mock-ups on computer screens or mobile phones when demonstrating them.
    3. Create a role play: Act out the experience of your idea. Try on the roles of the people that are part of the situation and uncover questions they might ask.
    4. Create a diagram: Imagine you are going door to door and showing potential customers what your idea or potential service is. Map our the structure, journey, or process of your idea in a way that will be easy for a potential customer to understand.
    5. Create a story: Tell the story of your idea from the future. E.g. describe what the experience would look like, write a newspaper article, write a job description. The purpose is to have people experience your idea as if it were real and respond to it.
    6. Create an advertisement: Create a fake advertisement that promotes the best parts of your idea.
    7. Have fun with it and feel free to exaggerate shamelessly. Then change the tone of your advertisement to appeal to different types of people.
Start prototyping
  • Select locations to test your prototype. Decide what context you want to test your prototype in.
  • Define feedback activities. E.g. arrange for a conversation if you are interested in a first impression, set up an activity if you want to observe people's behaviors, consider letting people use prototype over a couple days if interested in the longer-term impact.
  • Capture feedback learnings. Take notes of both the positive and negative comments from people as you test your prototype.
  • Iterate your prototype (if there is time). Based upon feedback you receive, incorporate valuable feedback into your concept. Make changes where people see barriers. Emphasize what was well received. Go through feedback cycles repeatedly and continue to improve your concept.
Implement your final prototype.
Variations Design Thinking: Examples References / Other Resources HCD course on Acumen/IDEO:

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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