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Dissecting Human-centered Design in a Virtual World July 20, 2020

Dissecting Human-centered Design in a Virtual World

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Photo of Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard

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Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard

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☕ Cantina Coffee Chat is a new series we’ve developed to share knowledge about a variety of topics in innovation, design, and technology. It provides an interactive platform for hosting conversations between folks from inside Cantina as well as with outside thought leaders. We are excited to use this venue for starting a dialogue and helping others. We hope you enjoy the exchange.

Check out past episodes:

In episode five, Krista Siniscarco, Director of Research & Design Strategy at Cantina, talks with Tim Berendt, Former Director of Innovation at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA & currently Professor, MDes Design Innovation at MassArt. The conversation centers around whether or not human-centered design can still exist as it has traditionally for the past few decades. They discuss the new world of human-centered design and how they have used and thought about the implications as a response to the COVID-19 crisis and our new remote, virtual world. Captured below are three takeaways from the conversation:

  • Empathy in observation is traditionally 70% of the work; a job made significantly harder in a virtual situation.
  • Testing cycles and resolution are not the same without the tangibles of body language and working in person.
  • Working remotely means more prep work up front, making sure to anticipate new needs and timelines; and what used to take 5 days may now take 2 weeks. Slow down and take that time!

If you’d like to connect with Tim or Krista, let us know. We are offering a limited number of complimentary remote workshops to help you and your team improve your approach to human-centered design in a virtual world. Please reach out at if interested. We can customize the workshop for you, and if you’d like to do your workshop on another topic, we can do that too!


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