Q&A with Human-Centred Design pro, Kristina

Human-Centred Design (HCD) offers smart and creative ways to design strategies, services and products that your customers and staff genuinely love. 

It helps you truly understand the problem before jumping to solutions. It's about designing with customer insights. 
But what is HCD beyond the buzzwords? Is it right for you? What tips can help get your manager and team excited about it too?

HCD pro and Huddle Academy Lead, Kristina Skov Aagaard, answers your burning questions.

Q. How is Human-Centred Design (HCD) different to what people are already doing in business?

A. Human-Centred Design helps you think holistically and always start with people first. It’s about understanding what’s truly desirable—what people need.
Often organisations make the mistake of designing services without ever including their customers (or employees) in the design process. They tend to solely look at what’s feasible and viable and the human element—what customers actually want—is often completely absent. 
When creating services, products, everything, we need to know how people interact with services, what they need. HCD involves people throughout the process so we can understand their needs and desires at a more meaningful level and implement that in the design. The outcome: services and products people want, need and love!

Q. Why do I need to use HCD in the work I do? Is HCD really for me?

A. HCD helps you get to know your customers’ real needs and desires. There are special methods to get to the heart of it—to understand the customer experience in a way the customer may not ordinarily be able to articulate themselves. This is where magic happens. Getting to this depth is important: remember Henry Ford… “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Whenever you’re in service to other people (like customers or staff), you need HCD. Humans have different needs and desires (one size doesn't’ fit all) and, plus, our needs are ever-changing. Now more than ever, organisations need to be at the forefront of understanding what people need and we must quickly respond. This helps you stay relevant, sharp in the market and truly delighting your people.

Q. I hear you talk about “Human-Centred Design mindsets”. What are they? Why are they important?

A. HCD is more than just a toolset or skillset. It includes mindsets: a way of being and believing. It allows you to see the whole system with a holistic perspective. This creates a far more robust and meaningful service, product or strategy. 
Tools are great to help you get inspiration to move forward. Mindset is how you view the world and how you view the world can change your outcome. Mindset is powerful!
Openness, ability to change perspectives, challenge status quo, believe in possibility… These are all super important mindsets you need in order to really unlock the power of HCD. 
Mindset always comes first.

Q. I know collaboration is important for better outcomes and buy-in. What skills can I learn at Huddle Academy to support better collaboration?

A. Huddle Academy shows why more brains are better than one when you’re trying to solve a problem. Including diverse perspectives and opinions makes your designs richer and more robust—you include skills, learnings, ideas you could never have dreamed of! 
There can be so much misunderstanding and stagnation because people don’t understand each other. They interpret things in different ways. 
Good collaboration comes down to good communication and being able to listen to each other as a team. Huddle Academy gives you practical listening and empathy tools and mindsets. This sets up teams and collaboration. 

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