Yared Amanuel spends his spare time using skills he has learned on the job at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division – not his engineering skills, but what he has learned in human-centered design.
Amanuel, an engineer with Carderock’s Naval Architecture and Engineering Department, just spent a couple of weeks in March in his home country of Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa. While there, he gave several human-centered design seminars to local companies. He also extended his human-centered design knowledge to his non-profit organization, EthioAthletics, which has a mission to “advance lifetime wellness through participation in athletics in Ethiopia.”
According to Garth Jensen, Carderock’s director of innovation, human-centered design starts by putting people at the center – observing and understanding human experience: how people’s complex behaviors, mental models and needs (articulated and not) inform the problem and the solution. It blends design, strategy, qualitative research and entrepreneurial thinking.
So, how did Amanuel use human-centered design? It started with a bunch of kids wanting to play soccer and not liking their jerseys.
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