Building off the success of using human-centered design for customer development, G-Lab now directed its attention for finding social applications for human-centered design methodology. In the course the telecommunications project (see above), we came into contact with the leading social activist, K. Sompong Srakaew, at the Labor Rights Promotion Network (LPN) at Samut Sakorn.

As great admirers of his work, we challenged ourselves to see if we could contribute to LPN’s tireless work to help promote the rights of migrant workers utilizing a human-centered design approach. Inspired by K. Sompong’s extensive research on brokerage networks and the plight of migrant workers, we conducted HCD interviews to get a deeper insight into the migrant experience. This resulted in key questions that could guide future research efforts to enhance the quality of life for migrant workers in Thailand. For a detailed description of the research see Conference Proceedings of the 3rd Annual International Conference, New Voices in Global Health and Wellbeing (2015, p. 170-185) http://www.sgs.tu.ac.th/images/ResearchAcademicServices/NewVoices/NewVoices2015.pdf

This project represents a documented case study where Human-Centered Design methodology, traditionally used for commercial purposes, was explicitly used to enhance the quality of life of migrant workers in Thailand. Future research is needed to explain the similarities and differences between human-centered design methodology and traditional qualitative research methods and the implications for multiple ways of ‘knowing’.

Core team: Apivat Hanvongse, Viria Vichit-Vadakan 

Duration: 2 months