In IDEO’s Field Guide to Human-Centered Design, you learn that “all problems, even the seemingly intractable ones like poverty, gender equality, and clean water, are solvable.” However, that’s not the most important part of their introduction. Human-Centered Design means to believe “that the people who face those problems every day are the ones who hold the key to their answer.” Reading those two introductory sentences to this field guide instantly confirmed that I am in the right place.
I think sometimes designers can be perceived as people that sit at their desk or in their office on their computers all day using fancy software and playing with typography. But in my eyes, one of the most important things to me about being a designer is how I can use my knowledge to work with (not for) and understand other communities of people different from my own.
IDEO’s mindsets help me work to better understand my work and, more importantly, the work I want to do. Empathy and optimism are already things I consider on a daily basis as a person in addition to being a designer. Conversely, embracing ambiguity and learning from failure are things that I still need to be more comfortable with going forward, as those are equally as rewarding as all of the other mindsets. But most importantly, I need to “trust the process even if it feels uncomfortable.”