User centered design


“When design is now taken out of the hands of the designers and into the hands of everyone.” (Brown. T, 2009) what is the role of the designer and what now is the design brief? Design as a profession has as Tim Brown mentioned in his talk in the early 21st century had made a shift to thinking more about “aesthetics, image and fashion.” But again “In times of change we need alternatives.” (Brown. T, 2009) and for designers this means a shift back to thinking big and in particular focusing ‘on the needs of users and customers… working outwards from the perspective of design thinking.’ (Brown. T, 2009)

The new design brief is ‘less a matter of features and functions and depends more on the interaction with the user’ (Greg, 2011). Such as Tim Browns example of the ‘Nurtures’ team project on outfitting a hospital waiting room, from the past designers may have looked at specifically changing the aesthetics of the furniture in the room such as changing its comfort or style, instead “Shifting its focus from furniture product to entire health care environment” (Brown. T, 2009). In order to create a truly user centered design firm, as reflected in the scenario of ‘Natures’’ project we can see that it is now the job of the designer to not stand as a single disciplinary solution, but through the teaming up with other disciplines the “working, collaborating… A new practice to which integrates a range of disciplines on completely interactive levels.” (McConnell. S, 2011)

The designers place within an organization has changed; for the sake of creating better design the designer is now seen more as almost ‘design trainers’. Companies like IDEO instead of choosing to create their own design solutions to which would only create another consumer product without real user input, seeking to turn outwards to train others to use design thinking practices or to create their own design teams based around the task at hand. This means creating companies’ as well that gain interdisciplinary teams the disciplines needed to collaborate with to be task specific. an interdisciplinary team for the sake of innovation.

Don Norman April 2008, ‘Don Norman on the Design of Future Things’, ‘vimeo’ viewed 26th June 2013

Tim Brown JUL 2009, ‘Tim Brown urges designers to think big’ ‘’, viewed: 30th June 2013 <;

Brown. T 2009, ‘Design thinking meets the corporation, or teaching to fish’ in T. Brown, Change by Design, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. 155-176

Steve McConnell 2011: ‘Design Futures Council Leadership Summit on Sustainable on sustainable design’ ‘YouTube’, viewed  28th June 2013, <;

Virtusdigital, August 2012, ‘A Step Backwards For Collaborative Design’ ‘virtusdigital’<;


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