Autodesk embraces LUMA


Yesterday, instead of heading out for lunch, I attended a LUMA Meetup in our office.

The LUMA Institute got its name from the Latin for illuminate, i.e., to shed light on solving problems. LUMA is a collection of 36 techniques that can be applied to practice human-centered design. To date, Autodesk has trained over 1,000 employees in how to use these techniques to achieve desired outcomes. Autodesk even has trained 20 employees to be LUMA instructors. We have been taught how to teach people to fish instead of being handed a fish.

To give you a sense of what LUMA is about, I will list the methods. You can probably draw a tiny bit of insight from their names:


  1. Interviewing — gather information through direct dialog
  2. Fly-on-the-Wall Observation — conduct field research in an unobtrusive manner
  3. Contextual Inquiry — interview and observe people in their own environment
  4. Walk-a-Mile Immersion — build empathy for people through firsthand experience
  5. What’s on…

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