I had a great training session recently on Human Centered Design, it was great for many reasons, but among the top was that the audience was filled with Gen-Yers who thought it was all bloody obvious. The general Y-consensus seemed to be: of course you should design with the end-user in mind and arguments from the audience members burst out on why companies bothered employing people who didn’t already “get it”. The arguments seemed to centre on one idea: if people needed to have this drilled into them then they were lazy fools and shouldn’t have a job.
This wholehearted embracing of Human Centered Design (HCD) was as abrupt and brutal as it was refreshing. Yes, HCD is a great framework. And the concepts that sit behind it are so simple and straight forward that people should surely be already doing this. But it also isn’t. The majority of people I’ve worked with in behemoth-sized companies are certainly not fools. They might lose sight of the big picture, or be forced into strange KPIs; but generally they are all keen on being decent human beings and look to be part of positive, productive projects. So, why do we so often lose sight of the fundamentals? Even the good basic principals of HCD ?
1 in people? Could it be that the way we organise large workplaces and collaboration is simply failing?The further I get into my Social Psychology course the more I wonder if it is simply that the way we’ve set up our large companies is not ‘human’ enough? That is, our enterprises themselves are often not based on HCD, so often they don’t take employees’ natural behaviour as a way of building out strengths in the business. And to the Gen Y argument, what is it about extra-large companies that seems to bring out more of the social loafer