Human-centered design (HCD) and design thinking are two approaches to design that prioritize the needs and experiences of people. Both approaches are focused on understanding users and creating solutions that meet their needs and goals. However, there are some key differences between HCD and design thinking.
Human-centered design is a process for designing products, services, and experiences that are centred around the needs and desires of people. HCD starts by understanding the context in which a product or service will be used and then involves researching and gathering insights about the users and their needs. This process helps designers to create solutions that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their target audience.
Design thinking is a broader approach to problem-solving that can be applied to a variety of fields, including design, business, and education. It is based on the idea that designers should be empathetic and proactive, and should seek to understand the needs and perspectives of their users to create innovative solutions. Design thinking involves a process of defining a problem, generating ideas, prototyping and testing, and iterating based on feedback.
What’s the difference?
One key difference between HCD and design thinking is the focus of each approach. HCD is more focused on the specific needs and preferences of users, while design thinking is more focused on the problem-solving process itself. HCD is often used to design specific products or services, while design thinking can be applied to a wide range of problems and challenges. Another difference is the role of empathy in each approach. HCD places a strong emphasis on empathy and understanding the perspective of users, while design thinking involves empathy as one part of a broader problem-solving process.
In summary, human-centered design and design thinking are both approaches to design that prioritize the needs and experiences of people. HCD is focused on understanding the specific needs and preferences of users, while design thinking is a broader approach to problem-solving that can be applied to a wide range of challenges. Both approaches involve empathy and understanding the perspective of users, but HCD places a stronger emphasis on this aspect of design.