Using HCD approaches and mindsets alongside other community participatory approaches to program research, design and implementation can ensure that the user is the driver of the process. This is particularly important when working with underserved or vulnerable populations whose voices are not always heard, and with young people whose influence in programming can be influenced or affected by countless aspects of their ecosystem (parents, low decision-making power, care-givers, peers, etc.).
HCD offers unique value by taking into consideration the whole person and the ecosystem that they are a part of, to understand what drives their behaviours, decisions, values, desires, and other factors that can help lead to whole-person and ecosystem appropriate solutions.
We believe that HCD’s inherent and fundamental approach of centering on the person experiencing the challenge leads to more desirable, feasible and sustainable solutions and interventions. We also believe that these approaches and mindsets also lead to empathetic and meaningful engagement of the target group, including youth and other vulnerable populations by shifting power to them throughout the project life cycle.
HCD Mindsets (Photo Credit: ideo.org Design Kit
HCD has a number of specific methods and tools that help to guide the process and facilitate the how to embody these mindsets