Human centred design

September 17, 2019 design thinking

Businesses that want to innovate are often driven by the need to develop a product or service that is new to the market (or at least they think so). The pressure to accelerate the innovation cycle to iterate quickly and get to a minimum viable product can be over emphasised by investors looking to get early return on investment.

Often, people get forgotten in the innovation cycle. It’s easy to see why; many innovators are in startups, small businesses and lean organisations with limited resource to devote to problems so they have to prioritise and the need to put people at the centre of innovation is not at the top of the list of priorities. It’s not a deliberate or conscious act usually.

Here are three different models that can be used to keep the focus on people when designing new and innovative products or services.

Design Council Double Diamond

The Design Council Double Diamond

The Design Council Double Diamond is part of the Framework for Innovation that is focussed on discipline around using divergent and convergent thinking at appropriate stages during the design process.

The double diamond is really useful for working through iterations of an idea quickly towards a validated version that can be considered ready for the next stage of development.

IDEO Design Kit

Similar to the Double Diamond, IDEO’s Design Kit is focussed heavily on using divergent and convergent thinking.

It is structured around the three step method – Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation that has become one of the cornerstone principles of human centred design.


Stanford has a useful resources for what they call the Virtual Crash Course which employs their design thinking process model.

Design Foundations

All of the above models are suggested by the Innovate UK Design Foundations round that is a useful funding source for early stage scoping projects that are fundamentally human centric. Innovate UK has a website dedicated to the competition.