Challenges of Downscaling and Upscaling in Human-Centered Design
Simon Nestler, Sven Quadflieg und Klaus Neuburg
Design has power – to improve lives, to empower people and to break down barriers. Successful design requires (besides many other tasks) a comprehensive analysis and deep understanding of the target audience. However, current design approaches, for instance established in the field of Human Centered Design, lead to multiple biases: Design neglects a multitude of needs when it uses downscaling to make complex target groups manageable. Downscaling must therefore disproportionately consider special needs within the design process – and upscaling must be able to compensate these biases again. The approach presented in this paper delivers three benefits: Conflicts between general and specific requirements are resolved, efficiency and equity are given equal consideration, and synergies become possible even at the resource level. By systematically analyzing and linking the issues of downscaling and upscaling in the context of design processes, the paper provides guardrails; these guardrails guide the design process and support a better focus to the general and specific needs of the target group.
Cite as: S. Nestler, S. Quadflieg, K. Neuburg. Challenges of Downscaling and Upscaling in Human-Centered Design. In: Proceedings of Nordes 2021: Matters of Scale. Kolding, Denmark, August 2021