Needs Matter: A Detailed Typology of Fundamental Needs for Human-Centered Design

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The relevance of human needs is generally recognized in human-centered design research and practice. However, a challenge of working with needs is that the word “need” can be interpreted in various ways, which can hinder effective communication and collaboration. Need typologies, in such cases, can serve as a shared language by providing an overview of distinct human needs. Building on a design-focused typology of thirteen fundamental needs, this paper introduces a detailed version in which two complementary but distinct facets explain each need. We envision this fine-grained vocabulary of basic human needs can support initiatives in human-centered design research and practice, particularly facilitating and enriching conversations among people from different backgrounds. Furthermore, we propose three directions for future research on this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. AHFE (2023) International Conference
EditorsHenrijs Kalkis, Zenija Roja
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-958651-50-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAHFE 2023 : International Conference
- San Francisco, United States
Duration: 20 Jul 202324 Jul 2023


ConferenceAHFE 2023 : International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Human needs
  • User needs
  • User experience
  • Human-centered design
  • Positive design
  • Human-product interaction


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