Customer-Centered Design for Workforce Development

Design Thinking in Action: Sacramento Public Library

Teen library help

One of the most important principles in design thinking is being Customer-centered. This means really paying close attention to what customers do and why they do it. This can come from engaging directly with customers, from taking a look at the data we are gathering or from a combination of data and customer feedback. 

We can also learn a lot from looking at how organizations outside of workforce development take a design approach. 

The Sacramento Public Library noticed that there were certain types of books that were checked out regularly by teens, but that they rarely spoke directly to librarians about them or came to them with any questions. As the photo above indicates, that's because these types of books were often on topics that were really important to teens, but that they might be afraid or embarrassed to discuss with an adult. 

Recognizing this and wanting to make it easier for more teens to find the books that were most important, the library created the sign you see above. 

This is the essence of good design. They made the library more inviting and welcoming, made it easier for teens to find what they needed and did it in a way that respected what teens value most--their privacy. 

And it cost them nothing to do. 


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This was a brilliant idea, recognizing the needs of users is very important.

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