4.051
The Human Factor in Innovation and Design Strategy

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor
Enrollment: 
Limited to 20
Required of: 
Restricted elective for BSAD, Design minor

Using Human-Centered Design to Impact the World.

The Human Factor in Innovation and Design Strategy will expose students to the core methodologies used in human-centered design with a focus on understanding how it can be applied to solve real-world challenges. In the course, students will hear leading design practitioners, thinkers, and business leaders explain how they approach design challenges, and how design brings value to human experiences and to the contemporary marketplace.

The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.   – Don Norman

Design research both inspires imagination and informs intuition through a variety of methods with related intents: to expose patterns underlying the rich reality of people’s behaviors and experiences, to explore reactions to probes and prototypes, and to shed light on the unknown through iterative hypothesis and experiment.   – Jane Fulton Suri
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.   – Steve Jobs

Human-centered design has been practiced for decades, but its design research methods have only recently become refined and codified by thought leaders and scholars (Donald A. Norman, Jane Fulton-Suri, Roger Martin), design innovation practices (IDEO, Continuum, and Frog) and within academic institutions (Rotman School of Management, the IIT Institute of Design, and Stanford's d.school). Compared to most artistic and design practices, this is relatively new creative territory ... and its rules are still being written.

This course will serve as an introduction to human-centered design through both its theory and its practice. The course will meet once per week in a single 3-hour session. One half of each class will feature a lecture presentation by the instructor or an inspirational guest speaker. A typical lecture will include a brief introduction by the instructor to help provide context, a 30-45 minute presentation by the guest speaker, followed by a moderated discussion between the guest and the students. The other half of each class will be a group working session intended to introduce human-centered design methods, present case studies, review weekly assignments, and allow for critique with the instructor(s).