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Human-centered design (HCD) is an intentional process in which the needs, motivations, and limitations of the people using a product or service are considered. The HCD process focuses on user needs and characteristics, usability goals, environment, tasks, and workflow in the design of a product and the services that enable it, like communications and governance.
HCD follows a series of well-defined methods for analysis, design, and evaluation of hardware, software, and web interfaces. The HCD process is iterative, generally predictable, and repeatable. Research, design, and evaluation steps are built in from the first stage of each project, and they continue throughout to implementation.
We've provided a brief overview of the HCD process @ CMS below, but the best way to learn more is to take our "Intro to HCD" course that we regularly offer to customers.
HCD @ CMS
The HCD process at CMS is a framework for describing design thinking as a continuous improvement philosophy. While the number and naming of "steps" or "phases" may differ between frameworks, they all focus on customer empathy and engagement as a way to solve the right problem the right way.
Learn about the steps and methods used at each phase of the Human-Centered Design process.
The first phase of the HCD process, in which existing data is collected, scope is defined, and a project brief is created.
Key Takeaway: Create a shared understanding of the problem that you’re trying to solve; Who, What, Where, Why and How.
The second phase of the HCD process, in which a research plan is developed and the team immerses themselves in the customer's experience.
Key Takeaway: Gain empathy by talking to and observing your customers.
The third phase of the HCD process, in which analysis & interpretation of data occurs, themes, insights and customer pain points are identified.
Key Takeaway: Sense-making by gathering available research / data / information to find themes, organizing into patterns and discovering insights.
The fourth phase of the HCD process, is to dream up many potential solutions, generating ideas via sketching, and co-designing with users and other stakeholders.
Key Takeaway: Many ideas without limits
The fifth phase of the HCD process, is to create an interactive solution that simulates how things should actually work, to elicit feedback, refine and test.
Key Takeaway: 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.
The last phase of the HCD process, is to develop a solution, track metrics, manage and communicate change, improve roll-out.
Key Takeaway: You’re not done! Continue to iterate, refine and enhance based on user feedback and metrics.
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