From a corporate career to discovering human centred design, Joanne is seizing her future. Discover more about RMIT's Master of Design Futures program.
What's Next - Joanne
[Laughs] When I tell people I am a human-centred designer, well firstly, I don't normally tell them that, because they are confused, and they ask what that means.
My personal definition of human-centred design is a really simple concept. And that's all about empathy and standing in the shoes of people who are going to experience or be affected by a service or a system.
I started my career working in financial services. I mainly worked in project management and change management roles for about 16 years. While I was working in personal insurance, I was really lucky enough to work with a human-centred design agency. I actually got to do research with customers and be around human-centred designers. And I realised that they were my people. And this is what I had been missing in my career and was missing from my experience in the corporate world. And I felt at home.
I chose to study at RMIT, because the Master of Design Futures program is very heavily focused on human-centred design methods. And I also wanted the opportunity to be able to study online. Because when you are working and you have a family, you don't have the time to come on campus. And so, the Master of Design Futures is an online course, and that gave me a lot of flexibility.
The experience of the Master of Design Futures for me has improved my confidence and my knowledge and understanding of human-centred design in order to connect my day-to-day working experience with the kind of theory and the academic context behind human-centred design.
I am working at Portable and I'm a design strategist lead. A key project that I worked on, that I'm really passionate about, has been with St Vincent’s Hospital. And they have a really special place called the Safe Haven Cafe, which is a place where people who are socially isolated may choose to go. And my job was to help them review the experience of the cafe from the perspective of customers, and also of the employees who work there. So, it was all about understanding the motivations of those customers and why they go to the cafe. What the experience is like when they go there and the impact it has on their life.
I believe human-centred design is a really important skill for everybody to have in the future. Having the ability to listen openly, to be able to bring people together with really different perspectives and be able to design a better world.
What's next for me? I'm about to embark on my final project as part of my Masters. And then, I want to integrate that into my practice at Portable. And maybe I'll do a PhD.
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