Feature 1: Welcome

by Jason Hobbs

1 October 2012

…when we look back on the 21st Century, IA will be recognized as a defining step forward in our thinking about the role of design in society.

Increasingly the world is faced with indeterminate problems. These kinds of problems are hard to define or frame. They seem to change shape depending on who views them (stakeholders, users, the designer, technologists, marketeers, product folks…). And when you start to try and solve them, a solution on one side causes new problems on the other side. More and more they span multiple channels, are riddled with dependencies and appear as windows into larger interconnected ecosystems that require navigating if you are to find solutions.

In addition, traditional means of approaching problem solving through analysis and scientific means appear to be failing us. The zeitgeist is calling for more humanistic approaches, more synthesis, more lateral thinking and more inclusive means of solutioning.

This is what Human Experience Design does.

Approaches and influences

Information architecture design: One of the defining characteristics of indeterminate problems is that they are surrounded by extremely large amounts of data. Information architecture (IA) provides critical skills that assist in discovering and understanding the problem space, synthesizing these huge amounts of data and composing new structures and systems into solutions. Mark my words, when we look back on the 21st Century, IA will be recognized as a defining step forward in our thinking about the role of design in society.


User centered design: Understanding the people who have to live with dysfunctional systems, the people who accept or reject solutions, the people who, in their variance, complexity and emotion are the problem and the solution all wrapped up in one, is fundamental not only to solving complex problems but also to offering effective and humanistic approaches.


Service-dominant logic: The essential idea that we should be designing solutions that have at their core the well-being of the overall ecosystem in which they function is a remarkable one. It blows my mind just thinking about what this means for design, society, business…everything really.


Who is HED?
Human Experience Design is principally Jason Hobbs, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jason also operates under the nic jh-01. He has been practicing design since 1997 and has a broad range of experience internationally working across industries and channels.

Professionally he works on large-scale projects, tailoring processes and teams to answer the specific needs of a project. Jason manages and practices research, strategy and design.