Human Centered Design

Human Centered Design

By Derby Museums


Find out how Derby Museums  have developed a co-production approach using Human-Centred Design Methodology to work together with their stakeholders, listening to, understanding and responding to their collective needs.

Derby Museums Trust operates three museums, the Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and Derby Silk Mill. It cares for the collections of cultural heritage on behalf of Derby City Council.

Derby has unique cultural assets. Derby Silk Mill is the site of the world’s first factory and is in the Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage site (DVMWHS). Derby Museums has the finest collection of work by Joseph Wright of Derby, the 18th Century artist of scientific enquiry and is ‘Designated’ by Arts Council England as a collection of national significance. Derby’s identity was 300 years in the making, and the Enlightenment spirit of creativity and invention resonates today in the city’s status as the number 1 high-tech city in the UK.

We want people to have collective and meaningful experiences in our museums and to ensure what we do is relevant to their lives, we have developed a co-production approach using this Human-Centred Design Methodology to work together with our stakeholders, listening to, understanding and responding to our collective needs. It is called ‘human-centred’ because it starts with people!

Human-Centred Design is used by organisations all over the world to develop products and services: Human-Centred Design is the discipline of generating solutions to problems and opportunities through the act of making ‘something new’, driven by the needs, desires, and context of the users for whom we are making it. 

The Derby Museums’ Human-Centred Design Methodology draws inspiration directly from the 18th Century Enlightenment and applies in 21st century needs. This is represented beautifully in the work of Joseph Wright, whose paintings capture the atmosphere and detail of discussions in the 18th Century that shaped the world as we know it.

The Derby Museums Human-Centred Design (DMHCD) handbook is intended to support you to design projects, programmes, products and services within your roles. These tools have been drawn together since the launch of Derby Museums Trust and are intended to guide you through our DMHCD approach. This approach underpins our cause to: ‘Expand perspectives of what a museum is and can be’.

The handbook itself is a living piece of work, regularly being updated to reflect our thinking – or as we find/develop new tools. ‘Our thinking’ includes your thinking... so if you have any comments, suggested improvements, or tools you would like to see added - please feel free to get in touch!Follow us: @derbymuseums

Download Derby Museums Human Centered Design (PDF)

Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2018