Embracing Ambiguity
August 29, 2019

REFLECTING ON: The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design by IDEO

After learning what it means to be a human-centered designer, I am looking forward to creating designs that have a purpose that goes beyond me. I have realized that until now, I’ve been designing while prioritizing my own self-expression and fulfillment, so it’s really exciting to train myself to make my design work impactful for a lot of people rather than just meaningful to myself.

However, something that I really struggle with is embracing ambiguity, one of the primary mindsets of a human-centered designer. I think this is a really important skill as a designer, even beyond human-centered design, because when creating things for other people, the answer is never black-and-white. This is something that makes me uncomfortable, being a person who is more comfortable when I know Point A and Point B and I just need to find the bridge between them. But, I know that improving in this way is going to make me a better designer. I think that through interacting with the community, understanding their needs and really just focusing on allowing ideas to develop out of community needs, as opposed to what I think would be cool and innovative, ambiguity will become a natural part of my design process.

This post exists within a series of reflections on topics and coursework from my Human-Centered Design class, taught by Marty Maxwell Lane at the University of Arkansas.