For the foreseeable future, post-COVID-19 working environments will most likely be entirely digital or a mix of digital and in-person labor, aka hybrid workplace. Reflecting on our working world’s past and likely future, we see the necessity to give a human touch to our work experience. The embrace of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), as well as a focus on productivity, efficiency, and systems thinking, has shifted our attention away from the very individuals that make our productivity, efficiency, and systems feasible in the first place during the last decade.

It’s past time we focused on humanism and designed our work environments, particularly our learning efforts, with people in mind.

Principles of Humanism in Educational Design in a Hybrid Workplace
hybrid workplace

The power of technology has charmed us all. AI-enabled tools and systems are more widely available and accessible than ever before and have been shown to improve our work products and environments. However, embracing technology and digital operations does not trump the application of human psychology and pedagogy principles that have been shown to improve our work products and settings. To live in a post-pandemic society, we’ll need to combine humanistic design with technology.

We must reinvent and realign our learning strategy to line with humanistic design for those who develop or offer learning opportunities. The function of instruction, the teacher, and the student must all evolve. The following would be included in a humanistic learning design:

The Instructional Design

A humanistic learning architecture is based on guided discovery to help learners improve their strategic thinking skills, specifically their capacity to complete strategic tasks related to their job function or other personal or professional goals. The guided discovery format demands that we design learning as experiences rather than courses and that the learner, not the content, is at the center of the experience. Not only should our learning experiences, tools, and resources be meant to inform, but they should also be designed to transform.

The Learning Objective

Humanistic learning aims to create an environment that encourages behavior change. We can’t see a difference in someone’s knowledge; we must infer it by watching a change in their conduct.

Track participants’ actions, activities, and habits before and after your learning project if you want to see how effective it is. What changes have you noticed? Rethink your learning strategy if there aren’t any or if the changes aren’t what you expected.

The Learner’s Function

The humanistic learning and development learner is a strategic thinker instead of the passive receiver of knowledge seen in conventional lecture-based learning and now resurfacing in modern eLearning and on-demand courses. Utility and results motivate strategic thinkers. Allow your participants to apply what they’ve learned in simple, intuitive ways, and provide feedback on how practical their application was to help them refine and perfect it.

The Instructor’s Function

The cognitive guide who provides a purposeful structure to assist learners in relating what they already know to new material and applying new knowledge in a given situation is known as a humanistic educator.

What Are the Primary Aspects of Humanism in a Hybrid Workplace?

The following nine principles of humanistic design are vital for developing a humanistic work environment (including learning programs) in our digitized world for L&D professionals and other leaders.


Allow employees to identify the current state and desired state through short standardized pre-tests, tailored assessments, or performance reviews (of anything). Integrate pre-defined action plans into the workplace to assist employees in closing the gap between where they are now and where they aim to be tomorrow.


Use tales to generate connection, credibility, and trust in interviews, job training, and performance coaching. Stories should be about encouraging, inspiring, and connecting with an audience, not about the storyteller’s ego.

Intuitive Linkages

Make meaningful suggestions for ways for employees to advance their careers. During an onboarding program, for example, new workers might see a video of the company’s CEO describing the company’s mission and objectives. Then, to improve their understanding of corporate stakeholders, they may receive an automatic follow–up email, a pop–up window, or other films from company leaders.


Use smart pre-work to prepare your learner or job prospect for a future experience, whether you’re recruiting a new team member or building an onboarding training program (i.e., a job interview or onboarding program). This strategy will improve dialogue, critical thinking, and the possibility that the learner or job prospect will remember the knowledge presented in the digital event.

Using Microlearning to Simplify

When it comes to sharing information, we need to get away from the idea that more is better. Remember that your participant in humanistic design is a critical thinker who is motivated by utility and results. High-quality communication is brief, precise, and focused. Break down any complicated topic or instruction into easy-to-understand micro-modules that may be applied in the actual world.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is built for millennial learners. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

Data Collection During High-Intensity Events

We all want to know how well our staff performs and how well our learning programs are working. Build feedback opportunities into the live experience to boost employees’ likelihood of a reply to your data gathering. When a user’s interest in a topic or response to an event peak, it’s the optimum time to engage them.

Be Prepared for Vulnerabilities

Expect disappointment, unexpected change, high levels of stress, or other vulnerable moments from your staff (e.g., being a new employee, transitioning from individual contributor to a supervisor role, or presenting their first sales pitch). Before, during, and after these moments, be ready to offer support, affirmation, and encouragement.

Milestones Should be Created and Celebrated

Provide opportunities for employees to be recognized and celebrated uniquely and enjoyably (for example, Fitbit’s India milestone, which recognizes a user for walking enough steps to cross India). Milestones can be arbitrary or meaningful, such as working for 90 days or showing up to class on time ten times in a row. Their goal is to inspire and motivate others. Give folks something to look forward to, and their experience will improve immediately.

Motivate Employees Both Within and Outside

A humanistic perspective forces us to consider why an employee would be motivated to perform something. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators motivate us all, consciously and unconsciously. Find unique ways to incorporate them into the design of your work and learning spaces.

How Can Humanism and AI Work Hand in Hand: A Few Examples

Of course, we want AI to help us achieve critical social goals like increasing access to education, justice, and healthcare quickly and effectively. The COVID-19 epidemic has sparked a debate about how artificial intelligence is used. For example, it allows us to eliminate the need for our fellow citizens to do hazardous and time-consuming jobs associated with providing essential services.

HCI practitioners, in particular, should take the lead in establishing human elements within HAI by developing AI that is both practical and useable, as well as explainable and understandable. Research on human-machine integration, user interface modeling, human-computer interaction design, the transfer of psychological theories, the enhancement of current methods, and the development of HCI design standards should all be part of the HCI community’s efforts.

To enjoy the full benefits of this collaboration, businesses must understand how humans can run more efficiently power machines, how robots can enhance what humans do best, and how to modify business procedures to accommodate partnerships.

The designers will feed the algorithms with rules, conditions, and data. The algorithms will subsequently carry out the tasks. Uizard is another tool that uses artificial intelligence to speed up the design process. UX Designers’ workflow is sped up by the automatic generation of Unreal Engine, MetaHuman, DigitalHumans, Oben.me, Soul Machines, Amelia, Sketch, Figma, and Miro files and front-end code. Specific Figma plugins use machine learning to automate everyday chores.

But What Are the Challenges?

What will humanistic AI design look like in the near future? Some examples to ponder are interfaces for the Metaverse, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, flying taxis, and telemedicine.

How do we create design methods/tools that integrate and complement the capabilities of human cognition (attention, language, learning, memory, perception, and thought) with the intelligence of machines? A few examples include Humanistic-AI Participatory Design, Human-AI Interaction, and Augmented Intelligence.

Intelligent design is necessary for AI tools, regardless of technology. This requires considering the user’s literacy level, cultural and social context, and developing exciting workflows. Understanding and addressing difficulties should happen simultaneously, and the number of problems that may be discovered and designs that can be enhanced is endless.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer program that simulates human thought processes. AI uses data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to mimic the human brain. In principle, AI can conduct data crunching, trend spotting, anomaly identification, and complicated analysis for better decision-making. After that, either a human or a computer makes the ultimate judgment.

Today, an intelligent system may rule every part of our life without our knowledge, taking over critical decision-making processes. We must build these technologies to account for the predictable and the unforeseen. We start by designing and building transformational technologies, which is where we are now.

As stated by LinkedIn: “Given the complexities inherent in presenting patient stories through various modes of mediation, these new data science techniques will benefit from the insights of humanities scholars who are experts at interpreting stories in complex intersubjective, social, and cultural contexts. While the non-standard format of narrative prose complicates the interpretation and coding of traditional data analysis programs (Bresnick 2017), humanities scholars argue that the nuanced and context-sensitive style of physicians’ notes makes them a valuable source.”

With access to thousands of patient histories and corroboration across a wide range of pathways, NLP-based, AI-based narrative medicine can humanize treatment delivery. Leading healthcare organizations worldwide have begun to emphasize the importance of patient viewpoints in healthcare and research on a broader scale.

The Solution

As a result of design roadmaps, crucial information concerning the efficacy of empirical stakeholder participation, emergent context-sensitive needs, socio-technical solutions, and human-computer interaction can be collected. These systems, we feel, should be built with a broader, deeper, and more varied community participation. Humans and machines, after all, are more inclined to collaborate than compete.

Artificial intelligence will inevitably find its way into our daily lives. Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly essential role in interacting with people from all walks of life by 2030, strengthening their advanced and powerful cognitive talents and opportunities for learning in the human sector. Medical professionals, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and technologists are among the skeptics. Algorithmic machine learning will act as our intelligent accelerator, allowing us to explore data and structure thoroughly in ways that humans can’t.

Many “human” skills, such as disease diagnosis, language translation, and customer service, are improving with artificial intelligence. On the other hand, research on the influence of AI on the workplace estimates that by 2030, intelligent agents and robots will have replaced 30% of the world’s human labor. On the other hand, we’re warned that the economic transition will be so significant that entrepreneurs, engineers, and economists will face a “major new challenge”: developing technology that complements rather than replaces human labor.

Designers should consider an AI-centric approach, dynamic function allocation between humans and machines, and prioritizing the use of artificial intelligence functions (such as intelligent search, real-time user behavior, contextual information, understanding human-machine gesture controls, and voice input) to eliminate repetitive human operations and create a more intuitive user interface instead of focusing solely on visual and interactive design.

Digitization and Humanism: A Cohesive Approach

A crucial key to moving toward a digital transformation is, to begin with, the human experience, or what some are increasingly calling “digital humanism.” Instead of beginning with technology, a solution looking for a problem, we begin with the human experience. We may bring considerable benefits to our organizations and avoid possible challenges connected with complex digital systems by implementing digital humanism as a systemic approach to product and service design, raising overall happiness. We will arrive at a different destination with different productivity outcomes if we combine design thinking with the human experience.

We will build and implement the best procedures and technologies that are practicable by studying how people work in the actual world (or if we pause and think about how WE would want to work). The purpose is to integrate people, organization (or process), and technology to solve challenges.

Four concepts define design thinking:

  • The human rule – design is, at its core, a social activity.
  • The ambiguity rule — designers must provide room for ambiguity.
  • All design is re-design, according to the re-design rule.
  • Making ideas tangible always helps communication, according to the tangibility rule.

Social and ambiguity are two terms in these four principles that appear to contradict our engineered IT environment. Many of our systems and processes were not created with social considerations in mind. We’ve developed an entirely new language, complete with cryptic data fields and procedures that assure we’ll never be able to switch to another system.

Ambiguity is a familiar nemesis of IT professionals. “How are you going to expect me to develop anything if you can’t even define it?” However, if we consider design thinking a journey rather than a destination, we may create a feedback loop to remedy or reinforce adverse outcomes.

Once we’ve established the correct procedures and identified and implemented the necessary technology, we’ll be on our way to organizational change, which will lead to transformation, which is about making fundamental changes in how business is done to help cope with a market shift. As a methodology, digital humanism and design thinking will stimulate innovation and enablement.

It’s challenging to get to the ideal state of digital humanism and design thinking for everything; the company may not be ready or able to change. It’s possible that the necessary tools aren’t available. The actual trick is to get started right away and then begin mentoring your senior and front-line IT workers.


The human-centered design does not necessitate a complete revamp of your business and learning activities. It’s simply a call to action to reflect on the quality of your environment regularly, thinking from the perspective of the human rather than the result.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is built for millennial learners. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.