Your Ultimate Checklist for Achieving an Immersive Human-Centric Design
Whether you own a medical facility or senior living center, it’s important to consider how your building’s design will ultimately affect the human experience of the people it serves. This means going in-depth on planning the technology, aesthetics, and functionality of the space. If it’s been a while since you’ve done this, or if you’re starting a new build, here’s what to keep in mind to ensure you practice human centered design and design thinking that enrich the human experience.
1. Think about how your design will be utilized in real life.
Human centered design practices encompass more than just making a space pretty. They also mandate that you prioritize and plan for how users will navigate and experience what’s in front of them. First, your design must be functional. This is table stakes. Think about workflow and daily tasks that staff members and patients or residents go through, to make sure your design streamlines and supports these actions.
Second, your technology must be intentional. How do your TVs and audio visual equipment serve and equip those in your care? Is your equipment state-of-the-art or outdated? Your tech must be modernized and serve a clear purpose; otherwise, there’s a good chance it will cause frustration or distraction instead.
Third, shift from usability to desirability. To really create resident and patient centered design and solutions designed for healthcare and senior living spaces, think about how your design will make the end-user feel. Comfortable? Overly stimulated? Informed? Make sure the feelings it will evoke are the ones you want it to. If not, rework your design.
2. Use market research and survey your target audience.
Human centered design practices should stem from a deep understanding of your patients or residents. Have you conducted market research into the people who may need your services? Have you surveyed current residents or patients, and prospective ones? Gathering accurate insight and honest feedback can go a long way in helping you update your designs to be more functional and engaging.
Hearing from those whom you serve (or hope to serve) can be a necessary reality check. You might have spearheaded the implementation of your current A/V solution and think it’s golden, but a check-in with your patients might reveal that sound issues are impeding any benefits the solution should bring.
3. Find a design process that works for you and stick to it.
Depending on who is on your team, and how you structure it, your design process will vary. But make sure you discover what process works for you, and then keep with it. This will help you better utilize resources and save time since your timeline and approach should be repeatable from project to project.
Here are some questions to consider:
- How are you delegating to team members and other stakeholders? How are you collaborating? Can this be enhanced?
- How do you share information about your design process? Do all involved parties know which step you’re on at any given point?
- How open are you to learning from each project? Do you and your team embrace the fact that human centered design and design thinking are iterative processes?
- How do you handle the integration between your design and implementation teams? Can this be improved?
When it comes to creating a facility with an immersive human-centric design, it helps to start at the core of your end user’s needs. Remember to think through the functional, relational, and emotional needs of a patient or resident and then layer on your technology and design accordingly.
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