Wednesday, May 19, 2004

IDEO (mostly) Gets It  In a Business Week article. The Power Of Design (thanks to Beth for the link), IDEO touts its processless process. Though it's survived the dot-com bust of the beginning of this century, IDEO has shifted away from digital to physical interaction product design. Too, they're interested in changing processes, not just products.

Good on 'em. Still, they seem to fall into the trap of designing products for the people on the project team, not necessarily for the person who actually uses the product. "Often, IDEO will have top executives play the roles of their own customers. Execs from food and clothing companies shop for their own stuff in different retail stores and on the Web. Health-care managers get care in different hospitals. Wireless providers use their own -- and competing -- services." The problem with this approach is the same problem with living history reenacting: the persons doing the role-playing might not have the skills to abstract their experience. I've seen this sort of approach devolve into the "I wouldn't do it this way!" Too little learning can be a destructive thing.

Still, it's good to see user-centered design get mainstream press.

1 comment:

natalie said...

Found a lot of useful info on your site about Product Design - thank you. Haven't finished reading it yet but have bookmarked it so I don't lose it. I've just started a Product Design blog myself if you'd like to stop by