Insights on Human-Centered Design From Jane Fulton Suri
- Jane Fulton Suri, Executive Design Director, IDEO
We sat down with IDEO Partner Emeritus and Executive Design Director Jane Fulton Suri to hear about her experiences and insights as a pioneer of human-centered design and empathy in design research.
(1:38) Jane’s background: How Jane became one of the founders of the IDEO approach to human-centered design.
(7:13) Course overview: Introduction to IDEO U’s Insights for Innovation course taught by Jane Fulton Suri and Coe Leta Stafford.
(10:44) Design research ethics: Honesty, responsibility, and respect in design research and building relationships with people to glean insights and encourage collaboration.
(16:23) Design research best practices: Rules of thumb IDEO’s learned, including bringing a max of 2-3 people to in-home interviews so interviewees aren’t overwhelmed.
(19:05) Creating time for empathic work: Doing something is better than nothing. Make explicit the things you don’t know and seek out opportunities to go learn.
(22:58) A career in empathy: How empathy became essential to Jane’s design research methods.
(26:29) Course collaboration tools: An interactive learning platform, lively community, and feedback from IDEO experts.
(28:05) Vulnerability + Confidence: How to balance vulnerability and assumptions without undermining confidence throughout the process.
(31:42) Honesty + openness in interviews: The process is more about discovery and creating a space where we’re all exploring together than trying to find an honest answer.
(34:43) Human-centered design in different cultures: Realizing that these methodologies may seem very strange in some cultures. Be open to casual conversations and consider yourself a deeply interested tourist.
(38:13) Jane’s first IDEO project: Navigating tricky territories and creatively designing conversation around these.
(40:00) Research on a budget: Something’s better than nothing—getting outside your own head and your own world.
(43:59) Formulating good questions: Interviewing, framing questions, and using observation and empathy to open up questions.
(44:53) Future glimpse: How the team saw glimpses of the future in past projects.
Learn the methods Jane discusses and take your team to new territory in our Insights for Innovation online course.
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