Building the Future with Human-Centered Design

Building the Future with Human-Centered Design

Building the Future with Human-Centered Design 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Emotional analytics, human centered design, empathetic design, the human experience, emotional intelligence, human rights, humanitarian efforts – the human element is everywhere. So what exactly sets humans apart from every other animal? Our complicated brains, that’s what. Those brains are hard at work trying to figure out how to pair humans, their needs and their emotions with the wildly evolving world we are living in.

A recent Verge article stated, “2016 was the year tech seemed to forget about the humans: the way we work, what makes us tick, and that we’re all, actually, fragile and complex beings.” The article points out some of the big misses of the year including Samsung, fake news, and the not so cool mystique behind “the cloud.” 2017 is sure to try to make up for some of these oversights.

“Emotion drives loyalty, and loyalty drives profit.”
– Experience Matters-

Driverless cars appear to be the epitome of un-human, however the possibilities and benefits of removing the steering wheel are becoming clear. Ever feel the need for rap before a big  presentation or a little Chopin before a yoga class? Honda has developed a concept car with the “HANA AI assistant, dubbed an “emotion engine” by Honda, and it would learn from the driver and detect emotions based on their actions. It would then be able to make new choices, such as music recommendations, based on the driver’s current mood.”

American Greetings makes fun cards and fun …CES booths? That’s right. At The Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, the famed card manufacturer set up shop with “A Device Like No Other.” Once they had attention they made the attendees realize that THEY were the device like no other, an idea generator, a friend, a pen pal, and that they “have the thinnest, most powerful communication device, which is the greeting card,” said an American Greetings PR rep at the event.

With honesty and people at the forefront, it’s no surprise that Everlane created a line of t-shirts and sweatshirts called 100% Human with $5 of every product donated to the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s true: We don’t always agree. Different politics. Different priorities. But it doesn’t mean we have to be divided. This year, let’s celebrate being 100% Human. Together.”

What would human centered design be without considering all of the complexities? Several brands like Toys R Us and Jet Blue offer quiet, low stimuli experiences for children. Designers are taking note too. A London based designer recently developed an empathy kit to help people investigate the challenges of autism through a series of tongue twisting lollipops and a limiting AR headset. Another designer has investigated the depths of dementia and created an empathetic helmet called the Dementia Stimulator that mimics the vision, speech, and hallucination problems experienced by a patient.

Some might say emotion has turned into currency. Others might say all this awareness is bringing us back to our human nature and closer to finding cures and other connections. Whatever your viewpoint, it is critical to remember that people are your greatest assets, meet their needs, put on their hats, understand their lives and you will be on your way to making great products and experiences.

Photo Credit: Dezeen | Geekwire |

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