Variously known as User Centered Design (UCD) or Human Centered Design (HCD), the fundamental philosophy underlying the designer’s approach to problem solving is that of discovery – “figuring out how to make something that will work in this context”.
Innovation, invention and novelty rarely have pre-scripted processes due to the as yet unknown, and often, uncertain nature of the outcome. The design process acknowledges this by embedding various techniques for discovery of the problem space as well as the possible solutions.
- Exploration – 1. the action of exploring an unfamiliar area. 2. the thorough examination of a subject.;
- Prototyping – an early sample, model, or release built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from;
- Iteration – the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result (2);
- Experimentation – a procedure carried out to verify, refute, or establish the validity of a hypothesis. May vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results.
This post was inspired by a twitter conversation with Dr Dan Lockton. It is the first of a series of explorations on our adaptation and evolution of the methods available for design research as tools for discovery and understanding where data may be inadequate or non-existent such as the informal economy in emerging African economies.
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