HCD, yay or nay?

When I got my first job as a design professional (frankly, I think anyone can design in their own way without having a design job), I was often told we need to apply HCD into things we do.

Recently, I hosted a few ethical workshops in response to the recent crisis our nation is facing, I began to see that NOT all HCD is good design. In fact, certain HCD is the reason why we’re constantly making the wrong choices in life. An example I learned from one of the workshops is Juul, a very well-design product with the intention of making smoking easier… which I don’t think I need to explain myself further here, we all know smoking is not a good and healthy behavior we should adapt.

What other HCD is bad? Another example came to my mind is Robinhood. Working in financial services, I often hear senior leaders complaining why our products aren’t as frictionless as Robinhood. Well, if you’re following the recent news, a 20-year-old college student took his life after he thought he made a big loss on Robinhood. Many young and novice traders use Robinhood to trade without understanding the implications and consequences fully. For a product that is super easy to use, extremely HCD, is it necessary good for us?

Lastly, we know how applying jobs is a job itself. No one enjoys the lengthy and painful job application process, especially during a time like this. Linkedin has had the feature of Easy Apply for quite sometime. From a job applicant’s perspective, it’s a great feature because all we have to do it’s one click once our profile is set up. But what about the application reviewers? Now, instead of getting quality candidates, they get flooded by applicants hitting the Easy Apply button. Yay or nay?

We need to apply HCD in the right place! Good intention doesn’t always end in good results.

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