Human-Centered Design Solutions on College Campuses

Solutions Journalism Network

Human-centered design (video) is an approach to problem solving that combines the creativity of design thinking with a value-add of empathy. It is not only a strategy for designers, but rather a toolkit that all change makers can apply to make solutions both user-centric and accessible.

Whether we are discussing goods or services, impactful human-centered design innovations employ strategies such as behavioral nudges or even the use of humor to achieve their goal. Solutions can also identify positive deviance—highlighting cases of success in the face of obstacles, and then developing programs to encourage others to adopt similar behavior.

Human-centered design encourages us to imagine and create customized solutions that meet people on their level. The stories in this collection are about solutions to challenges faced by college students, on college campuses. As you read them, consider how human-centered design is reflected in the each of the programs discussed.

Articles by Jen Soong and Aneri Pattani describe initiatives that connect struggling students with a network of peers to meet people where they are, instead of relying solely on specialist intervention. Read on to explore other student-driven efforts to meet challenges on college campuses—including those now posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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