Notice when you're noticing

How to Use Human-Centered Design to Build Empathy, Create Consensus, and Talk to Your Friends

activism in the age of the algorithm.

User experience is a social justice issue

"We need to exercise a disciplined empathy. It’s an empathy that includes qualitative thinking, like interviews and watching people use stuff to see where the snags are, and quantitative thinking, like A/B testing and heat maps. The tech industry is not very good at empathy... in my experience, we just drop the ball on empathy and hospitality a lot."

-Sumana Harihareswara

"User Experience is a Social Justice Issue"

code4lib 2014

At the intersection of tech and activism, how can we use empathy based research methods to better serve our communities?

What is human-centered design?

Human centered design is a repeatable, iterative, creative approach to problem solving to help you ask questions that better serve your communities (or product).

a quick note on the word "design"

Reframing the HCD model

  • Who are the users?
  • What are the users’ tasks and goals?
  • What are the users’ experience levels, and with organizations like it?
  • What functions do the users need?
  • What information might the users need, and in what form do they need it?
  • How do users think the organization should work?
  • What are the extreme environments?
  • Is the user multitasking?
  • What kinds of input models does the organization best adapt to?

adapted from Wikipedia




1. Define the problem.

2. Select the approach.

3. Plan and prepare for the research.

4. Collect the data.

5. Analyze the data.

6. Report the results.

Process makes perfect

from "Just Enough Research"

from "Just Enough Research"

from the Luma Institute

let's do it!

We're going to be using IDEO's Design Kit resource

Please go to:

Scenario 1: Inspiration

You have an awesome idea for a new organization in your community but have no idea where to start. Use the frameworks in the toolkit for inspiration that can help your vision come to life!

Scenario 2: Ideation

You are part of a community that's struggling to grow. While you once had a lot of energy behind your group, people have stopped coming to meetings and getting volunteers to complete tasks has become tricky.

Scenario 3: Implementation

You're planning a fundraising event for your organization and want to make sure it is a sustained and sustainable effort. Use the techniques in the toolkit to help make your event a success!

Scenario 4:
Do what you want

If you don't want to join any of the other groups, play around with some of the tools and present your findings!

Resource list

Many resources can be found at:

I will be adding more to support this workshop

Get in touch!


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