Greater Rochester Health Foundation Responsive Grants: Call for Idea Funding Opportunity

Human-centered design involves the people impacted by a problem in the process of developing a solution.

Human-centered designers empathize with stakeholders to understand their needs, define the dimensions of the problem, ideate to generate possible solutions, prototype the solutions to collect feedback from those affected and use what they learn to continually improve the solutions.

HCD Visual with text

The Human-Centered Design Process is iterative, incremental, collaborative and evidence-based. The process is not linear, it’s circular.

The Process may look like a nice, tidy cycle. In reality, designers often weave through and double-back to activities while working through problems. The HCD process is a great way of helping individuals and teams think through problems in a coaching setting. It is reliant on the coaching skills of listening, questioning and reflection. 

HCD Webinar

Designing Better: How to Navigate Problems Using Human-Centered Design

Some problems seem almost impossible to solve. In a time when we need rapid solutions, it's hard to slow down and really think through what problems we're actually trying to solve for. The human-centered design (HCD) process helps teams intentionally slow down and spend time in the problem space.

Join Brock Hart, Overlap's Co-CEO and Co-Founder to learn what HCD is, how to work through the different stages of the design cycle, and what tools our designers rely on to help us get to the heart of the matter.

Tools and Resources

Through our work, we've created and adapted a number of tools which we offer to the public as downloadable resources. Here are some of our key methods to gather research from a variety of stakeholders at the outset of a design project. Have a look at these tools and think about how you can use them in your next conversations.

Process Map

Our Process Map is a handy resource we use to help us navigate tough problems. Download it and keep it close by to reference while working through your design process. 

Get your Process Map here. 


Empathy Map

Empathy Maps provide a process for empathizing with your own customers, service or product users, or stakeholders. They help us dig into a person's experience of the context in which we interact with them.

Get your Empathy Map here.

Empathy Map Wide

Feedback Grid

A feedback grid is designed to make it easy for people to offer useful feedback without feeling mean. It’s a constructive framework for feedback that also makes it quick, easy—and less icky—for people to do.

Get your Feedback Grid here.

Feedback Gride Wide


"If you really knew me..." postcard to collect feedback

For printed copies: please email the Greater Rochester Health Foundation:

To print your own:
PDF available here*

*Note: Print double-sided and use cut-lines to trim postcard

Canva Design DAEff7Y4T4c

HCD: Card Deck

A set of useful nudges for tackling problems, big or small. Use your card deck prompts to help look at the problem through a different lense and provide strategies to generate solutions. 

Get your Card Deck here.


HCD: Process Cards 

Get your deck of human-centered design methods with step-by-step instructions you can use to navigate through your next problem.

Get your Process Cards here.



HCD: Launch Virtual Course

Learn how to solve problems with creativity and empathy, using the human-centered design (HCD) steps.

Join our next cohort or complete as a team.


Ideas from Overlap

Here are a few links to Overlap's resources that will help you get started with human-centered design:

If you're trying to solve a problem, you're a designer.

Overlap Associates is a problem solving company. We work on complex problems. We take a powerful human-centered approach to help people work better, to break down silos, increase internal communication, think differently about strategy, collaborate and create better products, services, and plans. We create better outcomes because ours is a deeply empathetic, richly human and solutions focused approach.

Overlappers are a diverse team of service designers, strategists, engagement specialists, coaches and trainers from offices in Canada and the UK. We are united by a common mission to share the power of design and a singular, unwavering focus to deliver exceptional value for our customers.

At Overlap, we are passionate about transformation. We are dedicated to unleashing the extraordinary potential in the people we serve to build capacity for more ideas, new thinking, creative cultures, a new way to work and better results.

If you want to talk strategy with us, ideate ways to move forward, and identify next steps, send us a message and we’ll find time to chat.

Brock Hart | Co-Chief Executive Officer |

Lisa Grogan | Co-Chief Executive Officer |

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