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HCD Phases

Learn about the steps and methods used at each phase of the HCD process — a framework for describing design thinking as a continuous improvement philosophy. While different frameworks for design thinking exist, they all focus on customer empathy and engagement as a way to solve the right problem the right way.


The first phase of the HCD process, in which existing data is collected, scope is defined, and a project brief is created. During this phase is defining a shared understanding of the problem that you're trying to solve; Who, What, Where and How.



"How might we..." Those are 3 of the most powerful words in innovation. Learn a turn of language that can transform a complaint into a question that draws fresh ideas and new thinking. (FourSightOnline | 11/27/12)


Learn about the What & Why of Stakeholder maps: This video describes what a stakeholder map is, what value it provides and how it can be used in an organization in the Smaply methods video series. (More than Metrics | 5/6/2017 )


Howard Ibach presents a talk on writing a creative brief -- a wide-ranging document used by ad agencies, company ad departments, marketing services companies, PR firms, and a host of other creative-driven businesses

(University of Minnesota Communicators Forum | 7/18/2013)


The second phase of the HCD process, in which a research plan is developed and the team immerses themselves in the customer's experience. It's intended to generate empathy by talking to and observing your customers.



Empathy lies at the heart of human centered design because people are at the center of human centered design.  It’s about understanding. In order to have true human centered design, you need to understand the people you are designing for.

Field Observations with Fresh Eyes | Tom Kelley

IDEO's General Manager, Tom Kelley, shares a case study demonstrating value opportunities that arise when designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs see with fresh eyes. He cites his company's challenge to design a new children's toothbrush. Rather than relying on industry assumptions, his team did hands-on field research and discovered new ideas on how children actually go about brushing their teeth. Subsequently, IDEO's new take on an old product became a bestseller for their client, and caused an industry-wide re-design by other toothbrush manufacturers. (Stanford eCorner | 6/8/2011)

Customer Journey Maps – the Why and What of Journey Maps (2018)

Customer journey maps are an important tool to improve customer experience with a product, service or brand. In this video you learn how you can use customer journey maps to better understand your customer and to trigger product innovations. You learn the most important basics of customer journey mapping and get to know some of the essential details of journey maps. (More than Metrics | 12/19/2017)

Interviews: How to do a user interview 

A short description on how to conduct a user interview from by Google Ventures.


The third phase of the HCD process, in which analysis & interpretation of data occurs, and themes, insights, and customer pain points are identified. It involves sense-making by gathering available research, data, information to find themes, organizing into patterns and discovering insights.


UX Design Basics: Mental Models 

In this video, Jamal Nichols explains Mental Models, a core concept in User Centered Design. (Jamal Nichols | 3/25/17)

How to Make a Mind Map - The Basics?

This clip, provided by MacGrercy Consultants () shows you the basics of how to make a mind map. The intention is to show you the main points to get you started. Further clips with more details and examples will soon be added. (MacGrercy Consultants | 5/6/2009)

Affinity Diagram- Design Thinking Book

( | 10/24/17)


Here we explore ideas without limits. It's in the fourth phase of the HCD process, where you dream up many potential solutions, generating ideas via sketching, and co-designing with users and other stakeholders.


IDEO: Brainstorming and Other Ideation Techniques | David and Tom Kelley 

David and Tom Kelley of IDEO discuss alternatives to traditional brainstorming. (Stanford Biodesign | 2/6/2016)

Course UX Design: 4 Ideation | Chris Nodder, LinkedIn Learning instructor

In this installment of UX Design Techniques, Chris Nodder explores a variety of ideation techniques. Chris explains how to brainstorm in a way that lets all members of a team, not just the designers, contribute to a product's overall direction. (Chris Nodder | Linkedin Learning)


The fifth phase of the HCD process is where we create an interactive solution that simulates how things should actually work, to elicit feedback, refine and test. Reduce your ideas to those that are desirable, feasible and viable, and make as interactive as possible so you can get feedback about the experience.


User Testing: Why & How

There is no excuse for not performing usability studies. They’re fast and cheap, and very convincing. Test with representative customers using realistic task, then be amazed by what you observe. (Jakob Nielsen, NNgroup |5/25/2018)

Usability Testing w. 5 Users: Design Process  | Jakob Nielsen

Formative usability testing is best done with a small number of study participants, so that you have time and budget to test more design iterations of the user interface.

How to Create a UX Storyboard

This clip provided by NN/g, describes how storyboards fit within the UX design process, and the steps needed to make a successful storyboard to visualize a workflow, customer journey, or user story. (Nielsen Norman Group(NN/g) | 8/19/16)

Low fidelity prototype testing of the Youtube website

The paper based prototype was created to test the initial concept and improved interface. Solutions were developed using a range of UX methodologies and techniques. (UX Playground | Jun 11, 2015)


You're not done just yet! Continue to iterate, refine and enhance based on user feedback and metrics. The last phase of the HCD process is intended to develop a solution, track metrics, manage and communicate change, and improve roll-out.


The New Change Management

Illustrations animated from Dick Axelrod's new book - Terms of Engagement. Chapter 2: The New Change Management

Joe Lafferty | 9/19/2010

How to Measure Usability & UX

This webinar will explain the advantages of the 3 most recognized methods for measuring Usability & User Experience of a product or service: SUS (System Usability Scale), Supr -- Q and UX Score. (UserZoom, 3/14/14)This webinar will explain the advantages of the 3 most recognized methods for measuring Usability & User Experience of a product or service: SUS (System Usability Scale), Supr -- Q and UX Score. (UserZoom, 3/14/14)

Statistical Significance in UX

(NNgroup | 2/15/2019)

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