is UCD sufficient?

Interesting article on the Core77 design blog site.

tools of engagement

“…. do we need to shift the conventional notion of User-Centered Design (UCD) and rethink the very foundation of contemporary design practice?

This may sound like blasphemy, particularly at times like these. With people struggling in so many areas of society it would seem to be more important than ever to focus our efforts as designers on addressing specific, observed human needs. And I am not advocating that we abandon the methods of UCD wholesale. But is UCD sufficient? Is it the right compass to guide us toward the larger scale social changes that we need?

Over and over, I have seen how a UCD process will tend to emphasize certain benefits of an experience like ‘convenience’ over other, more meaningful sources of social value.”


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