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  • Writer's pictureMichael Padilla-Pagan Pay

Human-Centered Design 360 (HCD360) Solutions

I always talk about humans being at the center of everything, especially in industries that our companies work within; Security, Risk, Oil and Gas, Event Management, Education, and Logistics. Let's face it; humans are front and center. As in any process where humans are involved, human factors must play an essential role when working, living, and traveling in an increasingly complex, global environment.

Today, unnecessary risk has increased across the human population, primarily due to social context, competition, and financial crises. And while our population is divided into two groups (risk seekers and avoiders), there are some individuals in all populations who tend to take unnecessary risks; this is simply because anyone can exhibit both risk-seeking and avoidance behaviors depending on the situation.

The human shift:

In our modern world, there have been fundamental shifts in the business landscape, driving the need for a different approach to today's risk, security, and travel strategy.

The major shift is the current pace of disruption that the world has witnessed over the past two and half years. Pandemic, conflict, a rise in extremism, and economic turmoil have made it hard for business leaders to determine how best to optimize their resources and investments.

Secondly, ever-changing customer expectations have forced businesses to up their game when interacting with external stakeholders, as they are no longer simply being compared to direct competitors and other customer-facing businesses.

Finally, the impact of dwindling trust has emerged as a growing concern as more customers demand increased transparency from businesses.

These fundamental shifts in business are human-centered at the core, and human-centered disruption requires a human-centered response.

The value of a Human-Centered Design 360 (HCD360) approach:

So, how can business leaders plan for the future?

The answer lies in something new: combining design-led approaches and solutions that are human-centric with a strategy that's deeply rooted in ontology, identity, logic of appropriates (their needs, constraints, contexts, behaviors, and wants), and narrative.

This blend of humanity and business is a powerful combination. We have witnessed and offered these solutions to customers who have acknowledged the value of this balanced approach in different environments - from conflict-driven responses to emergency evacuation and business resilience support.

The path forward in Human-Centered Design 360 (HCD360):

To create a vision and strategy that is confident in today's rapidly changing world, leaders need to add a crucial empathetic lens to strategy in order to understand the wants and needs of individuals, specifically those humans experiencing the service or product. Leaders need to look beyond customers' and employees' actions to unearth their motivations and attitudes.

Studying what people did is outdated; understanding why people do what they do is the way forward. And those insights can provide an organization with a compass for the future.

Using our tried and tested methodology, Human-Centered Design (HCD), we have created a framework that integrates a set of practices to understand users, location, ontology, identity, and the logic of appropriates. From there, we can build a deep empathy and understanding about that person. This enables us to generate multiple ideas to help reduce their risk and arrive at solutions via the rapid prototyping of scenarios to mitigate any possible issues.

How Human-Centered Design 360 mitigates risk:

In supporting a customer, a site, or a traveler, our process focuses on mitigating risk. This starts with creating a deeper awareness of potential threats, understanding stakeholder behaviors, identifying where weak points exist, and using imagination to think boldly about possibilities. Technology or AI does not help in this case… and it shouldn't.

How better to do this than to be continuously tapped into your stakeholder needs and behaviors?

HCD methodology promotes getting to the "right" problem with phrases like "What if?" or "How might we?". And by understanding the individual's profile and history of the relationship.

HCD tools encourage stakeholders to think creatively and openly about possibilities, and strategic filters gauge the viability of ideas to direct companies down an intentional path.

While the HCD process has many forms, the model we use at DC Design has five key phases.

  1. Understand

  2. Analyze

  3. Mitigate

  4. Respond

  5. After Action Review

Both HCD and risk management work hand-in-hand. Risk management acts as an organization's proverbial brakes, cautioning and alerting clients and partners to potential threats based on past patterns. HCD tools enhance the risk management function by expanding research and analysis to focus on evolving stakeholder behaviors, needs, and motivations. Together they empower an organization to innovate, move forward with greater confidence, and cultivate a broader and deeper intelligence of market and ROI influencing factors.


In the end, there will always be naysayers and corporate accountants who will continue to work hard to formulate a measurement of HCD's exact ROI. But the high-definition lens that HCD provides into stakeholder behavior positions organizations to be proactively agile and better prepared for change. So ultimately, the ROI of a design-driven organization goes far beyond a financial quote or a set of metrics.

HCD practice is valuable and is what we use in our daily operations globally. This approach allows us to deliver innovative, integrated security with HCD solutions to operate in complex areas across land, sea, and air.

If you want to improve or develop your risk or travel management program to provide security for your people and teams, then visit us.

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