The Problem With Design Thinking Part 6

Updated: Jul 15


Quora | What did humans look like 100,000 years ago? | The problem with Design Thinking. Part 6 | Design Partnership Australia
Quora | What did humans look like 100,000 years ago? | The problem with Design Thinking. Part 6 | Design Partnership Australia

The Problem With Design Thinking.


The best designs consider on a very deep level its users or occupants. User-Centric Design, Design thinking etc. The approach is not new and rightly so. It's pretty logical. The world is however moving ever faster and faster. The issue with true immersion is that in truth, few projects allow it. One is seldom able to actually collect all the data around a problem as by the time a designer is brought to the table, dates are set, budgets have been allocated and obligations must be met.


Most specialist commercial designers neither have time nor budget as their friends. Our agency is no different and with the realities of daily pressures and our desire to stay true to our philosophy of designing the best possible social spaces for the best possible human experiences and engagement, we had to explore ways to get better answers much faster.


We, therefore, asked ourselves a simple but fundamental question. What if we thought about space as being occupied by humans with automated behaviours and patterns. What if we could hack the process, understand exactly how humans will be moving and interacting in very specific environments and therefore could automate certain parts, arrive perhaps at explicit guidelines, and specific patterns of design? The rest of our time could then be spent on developing and prototyping the layers of unique visual tangibles to frame the solution and make it relatable. Would this be possible?


To understand this proposal better, let’s go back a few steps. Below is a short summary of how we framed our approach. Your thoughts would be welcomed.


What is Design Thinking?


Design Thinking is a method through which designers solve problems through immersion. Designers start with empathy. Through interviews and observations, they try to “fall in love with the problem”: Why do people do what they do and where could we find opportunities for improvement.


What is Behavioural Design? (also called Behavioural Change Design).


Behavioural Design is the combination of design thinking with the science of influence. Behavioural Design combines Psychology and Behavioural Science to understand why people make the choices that they make and what other information they need to make healthier choices. In short, Behavioural Design helps people make better decisions.


What is Designing for Human Behaviour?

Design for Human Behaviour is in short the packaging of Design Thinking and Behavioural design findings wrt the actions that people repeatedly and predictively perform in very specific environments and finding patterns of design for pre-set factors of positive influence.


Our focus is specifically on design within social spaces ie what people do in the company of people. Think of any hospitality space like a restaurant or a bar for example. Designing for this predictive human behaviour helps us as designers make better-qualified design decisions much faster. Sure, textures, materials, colour pallets, furniture and lighting etc are all very important, but if there are not all done subject to and in support of the best possible human experiences and engagement, then their application is fickle and reasonably pointless.

More about this in our next newsletter... The Behavioural Dilemma. People do not behave as we expect.


 

Article Acknowledgements:

1. Hoffman L. Why we do what we do. Designing for Human Behaviour

2. Kelly L. What is Behavioural Design. March 2021


 

Author: Callie Van Der Merwe Editor: Roberto Zambri


About the Author: Callie is an Architect turned Interior Designer turned

Human Behaviour Designer. He is also the founder of

DESIGN PARTNERSHIP AUSTRALIA


Learn more about Designing for Human Behaviour.

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