User-Centered Design: Creating Better Solutions for Global Challenges

Youtube ID
MIT Blossoms


In this hands-on, activity-based lesson MIT D-Lab's Megha Hegde will introduce students to design thinking and to D-Lab's User-Centered Design process - a framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the user perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.

User-Centered Design is an iterative process through which we try to understand the user, challenge assumptions and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions. Through this lesson, students will learn an approach to problem solving.

While the lesson may or may not inspire students to pursue engineering or product design careers, it will certainly equip them with skills to critically analyze the problems around them and come up with creative, realistic, and useful solutions.

There are no formal prerequisites for this lesson, and any high school or advanced middle school student can participate in and benefit from it. This lesson and all the activities in it can be completed in a regular 50-minute class.

It is useful to have some basic classroom supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, post-its and markers which will come in handy for the in-class activities that include interviewing, brainstorming, and prototyping. Read more


Thanks to D-Lab Faculty Director for Research Dan Frey for the opportunity and to D-Lab Global Trainings Manager Sher Vogel and Associate Director for Research Kendra Leith for providing valuable feedback on the lesson.

MIT Blossoms

Blossoms video lessons are enriching students' learning experiences in high school classrooms from Brooklyn to Beirut to Bangalore. Our Video Library contains over 100 math and science lessons, all freely available to teachers as streaming video and Internet downloads and as DVDs and videotapes.