There is No Cow Level…

Design, bringing the human element back

by on Nov.02, 2009, under ICM 501a Assignments

Humans have always been involved in the designing of the best products in the world the car, the computer, the phone and many other extremely important devices and machines.  However throughout the years designs have changed and usability has become a key issue in the success of any product.  As mentioned in the article by Tohidi in 2006, sketching is one of the simplest most cost effective way of organizing new ideas and explaining concepts to both yourself and to newcomers alike.  “It has been suggested that current UT practices tend to elicit more “reactive”, rather than “reflective” user feedback” (Tahidi, 2006).  This is an issue with sketches; you were most likely to get only reactions from the audience and not reflective constructive comments that lead to design changes and a better product.   Where this would be applicable in real life and to our project is essentially conducting a focus test even within our own group where we would sketch a user interface that we would like to use for the website.  This would enable us to combine the most asked for features and attempt to appeal to the most people at the same time.  In the TED video with David Kelley, he takes the next step which is including personality and behavior into the mix.  Things such as Prada dressing rooms where you can see how the product looks on you.  This kind of thinking is what needs to happen to both our website and the future or products to be successful.  One can not just think how the product is better than its predecessor but how it is different does it improve on the user experience as well as the ease of doing something?  These are the questions that need to be discussed in our group and within the companies world wide.

Since these articles are a bit dated and considering that technology ages a mile a minute now, the best example I would say is Apple.  They took a product that was mediocre and went for the personal approach, appealing to behavior and personality of the user.  A gamble that paid off huge and left competitors in the dust.  Companies like Microsoft and Sony are still trying to catch up.  Essentially what this articles and videos are saying is that human design is the best type of design, streamlining a product right to the marketplace is no longer effective, the product needs to be pinpointed or target to a specific audience and their behavior and personality.

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