Human-Centered Design Professional Development Workshop

A banner image that shows screenshots from a Miro board.

Human-Centered Design Professional Development Workshop

With the University of Missouri-Extension Community Development team / half day

The methods, mindsets, skills and techniques we use in our work as human-centered designers can be applied in a wide variety of settings. In our workshops, frequently folks find that they’ve been using some of them all along in their work.

The University of Missouri-Extension Community Development team was looking for an opportunity to build professional skills around facilitation while also working towards a shared, state-wide vision. They invited Public Design Bureau to offer a professional development workshop that gave a taste of the creative, user-centered techniques of design thinking. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the session was held online and also highlighted virtual facilitation techniques.

The session design built on previous workshops and classes offered by Public Design Bureau. Using a compressed design process and collaborative tools including Google Slides and a Miro board, the community development team worked in small groups to address an opportunity within their own context: how to help community members feel and be connected in their neighborhoods and places.

During this interactive session, participants:

  • Shared stories from their experiences and observations working with community members, and discussed ways to invite people who are directly impacted to share their experiences.
  • Practiced techniques for documenting and utilizing stories and narratives to understand the experiences of individuals.
  • Learned methods for making sense of complex information including identifying patterns and key insights.
  • Explored iterative ways to seek feedback from people on ideas and strategies.

Liz and Annemarie were deeply thoughtful and collaborative with our team as we planned our session, flexible when we had to pivot to a virtual option, and thoroughly engaging throughout the Zoom workshop. Our group was able to foster new skills that will be applicable in many different realms of our work—the Human Centered Design process provided us with a new way to organize and approach our facilitation in order to successfully build civic capacity across Missouri. 

Claire Wolff, Community Development Education Director