ThE ThREE LEnSES OF huMAn-CEnTERED DESIgn. 6. ThE hCD pROCESS. 8. hOW TO uSE ThIS TOOLKIT. BEST pRACTICES FOR InnOvATIOn. Mean to Be. Embracing human-centered design means believing that all problems, At and IDEO, we’ve used human-centered design for decades. IDEO has made their Human Centered Design Toolkit, a road map through clear design thinking that’s full of their time tested methods.

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HCD is essential to our success as a world leader in building markets for sanitation and addressing agricultural challenges for small-scale farmers. The problem, Norman would say, is not that the user failed the door, but that the door failed the user.

Join us for Design Kit: Prototyping

When you approach a door, if it has a simple rectangular metal plate, the door is indicating to you that all you have to do is put your hand against the plate and push for it to open. The pumps were selling well in some places, but idel in others.


The Gates Foundation connected iDE to IDEO, a design firm that had begun focusing on consumer experiences in and was seen as the leader for commercial user-centered design. Often, to counteract this poor design, someone has put a PUSH sign on the door. The treadle pump requires the farmer to stand on the pump and pedal, a movement similar to riding a bicycle or using a stair-stepper.

And Don Norman continues to focus on human-centered design, coming full circle to return in to UC San Diego as the director of their new Design Lab. The iDE design team embodies deep local knowledge, business acumen, and product design expertise. He began putting this concept in practice when he founded iDE inutilizing it first in Africa, and then in Bangladesh.

When iDE opened a human-centered iveo lab in Cambodia, it was the only lab of its kind in Asia dedicated to solving poverty. In it, he offered a consumer-oriented view of natural human interaction by exploring the links between design and human psychology.

One of his examples was how humans interact with doors. Over three editions later, the toolkit has been downloaded more thantimes.


iDE | The background behind the creation of the HCD Toolkit

We have a global in-house design team that loves to work with others to create stellar solutions. Tapping the knowledge of rural people. This is a idel of a village drawn during a participatory session with local farmers, led by Kebede Ayele, Country Director of iDE Ethiopia. The HCD Toolkit was designed specifically for organizations working with poor communities.

It was this hallmark approach to markets and focus on the end-user that made iDE a highly innovative organization, one of the first to use a business approach to poverty. We would not have soldlatrines in Cambodia if not for the insights and design principles gained during this research.

Since his initial insight into focusing on people first, Paul Polak continues to lead the drive for drastic change in how designers work and think. The IDEO team brought their established design methodology, design language, and creative discipline.