Human Centered Design

PUBPOL 851

Course Summary:

Our course on human-centered design has three goals: 

  1. Teach students how empathizing with a user’s experience transforms the ability to meet their needs. 
  2. Train students how to use design-thinking, a methodology for solving difficult problems. 
  3. Deliver measurable improvements for an organization in the Durham community. 

Based on feedback we’ve received from students in the class, the workload is challenging but the rewards more than make up for the time invested. Students need to work well together to create high-performing teams as well as to learn the role of consulting to impact an organization’s performance. Perhaps it is easier to share feedback from previous students: 

“I must thank you again for leading such a great HCD class! Of all my classes at Sanford, yours was the most directly applicable to the work I will be doing in the ‘real world.’” 

“Loved HCD. Frustrating, challenging, but ultimately rewarding. The approach of designing tailored solutions that focus on people over process is a must for a policy school.” 

“This class kicks your butt and makes you WORK. But I loved how hands-on and engaged it was. I feel like skills learned from this class will carry me into my career and beyond.” 

Our class in Spring 2021 will be working with the Durham VA Medical Center, to improve the veteran and employee experience and the areas we’re currently considering are Care in the Community, Tele Urgent Care, Patient Enrollment and In-patient Orientation. The course will be hybrid with both online classes and in person work at the Medical Center and will include lectures, case studies and workshops, but the majority of the learning is done through fieldwork. The students move through the key phases of HCD (1) Discover (2) Design and (3) Deliver/Measure. During the semester, the students conduct qualitative interviews, create journey maps for current customers and employees, design an improved experience, and lay out an implementation plan for the organizations to best deliver and measure improvements. 

The learning curve is steep and starts off quickly, with the students having to find their way through a non-linear process. Human-centered design requires empathy to capture the emotional insights of a customer’s experience. We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Durham VA Medical Center and we look forward to minting new designers! 

Read an article about human-centered design  here, and learn more about Professor Tom Allin here and co-instructor Blythe Reinhard here.

 

Course includes lectures, case studies and workshops; majority of learning is done through fieldwork in the Durham community. Students work in teams to improve a specific organization's customer experience. Students move through the key phases of HCD: Discover, Design, and Deliver/Measure. During the semester, students conduct qualitative interviews, create journey maps for current customers and employees, design an improved experience, and lay out an implementation plan for the organizations to best deliver and measure improvements. Instructors: Allin and Meyer

Notes

Instructors Allin / Meyer.
Bass Connections course.

Enroll Consent

Instructor Consent Required

Typically Offered
Spring Only