Why HCD is not an ‘option’ for Design

The basic hypothesis of this post states that HCD is not an option for design, not because it is not important, but because there is not other choice; design itself IS Human-Centered. HCD (Human Centered Design) is known as one of the many approaches of design, where its main object of study is the Human being itself and its relations with his world. Lately I’ve been thinking very much about this issue, and have found many references that have helped me to sharp my arguments; I recently watched a conference by David Kelley, co-founder of IDEO, which he gave on 2002 and was posted by TED on 2007, where he spoke about HCD. He said design was becoming less about products and more about user experience (humans?), and that was the main reason why for designers is just not enough to simply show a model or render of a product, but they must evidence its relation with a human being (its USE!). And this is exactly what Kelley’s colleaggue and IDEO’s co-founder, Tim Brown, means by urging designers to think big (again), for he recognizes the power of design and its reach when the eyes and focus of study distances from objects and approaches to human beings.

“…design itself IS Human-Centered.”

This human-centered approach of design implies a higher purpose that force designers to commit towards change: design is humanizing. Technology alone, or its development through the eyes of diciplines like engeneering, have failed in its main task of improving  the life quality of human beings, for it has been worried more about production, profits, sales, etc.; design, together with its actual trends, is managing to humanize technology, remembering the world its first purpose, referred to improve human beings life quality. Initiatives like Designism, which is a movement of designers and creatives commited to change, or ‘Design Ignites Change‘ and Glimmer Site, which help as means of communication for this objective. It’s all about the human being again, it’s an anthropocentric-like point of view; in able to asume design as a dicipline capable of generating mayor change, our objects of study have to stop being products and physichal objects, and start leading towards Humans.