We’ve adapted the practice of human-centered design to the unique needs of the social sector. Our approach builds the capacity of clients and communities to solve old problems in new ways. It is grounded in the following principles:
End users are the experts.
We assume people know the most about their own lives, and that everyone makes decisions for a reason. We actively engage community members and stakeholders throughout a project, not only to create things that people want, need and will use, but to truly inspire ownership.
Innovation doesn’t have to be fancy.
While we often design sophisticated tools, many of our projects result in small programmatic changes that solve problems in clever and intuitive ways. We’d rather see our concepts being used by people than winning design awards.
Less is more.
We work hard to provide clients with as little design as possible, knowing that solutions which leverage existing assets will ultimately be more sustainable. We know we’ve achieved elegant design not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Capacity is built through hands-on experience.
Our ultimate goal is to teach our clients to work like designers, so that they have the tools to address behavior-based challenges in the future. With every engagement, we help teams internalize the methods and mindsets of human-centered design.
Hard is not the same as impossible.
We work on issues of poverty and social justice precisely because they are challenging. Our team is scrappy and persistent, and we are prepared to dig in to new and challenging areas to create programs and services that improve lives and livelihoods.