Tribal Leadership

March 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: leadership 

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Leadership Lessons from Orchestra Conductors

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: leadership 

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Robots, People, and TED

March 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: design, human factors, robots 

I’ve been fascinated by robots for years – specifically as it pertains to human-robot interaction.  I believe we’re at the “tipping point” of seeing significantly more robots within our personal and professional lives – and not to mention within the military. 

Thus, now is the opportune time for the human factors and ergonomics community to recommit ourselves to assist with designing meaningful human-robot interactions.

While you’re pondering how to fully embrace this opportunity, I’d recommend watching the following TED talks for inspiration.

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“Shot” Heard ‘Round the (Design) World

March 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: design, innovation 

Last December, Donald Norman posted an early preview of his article, “Technology First, Needs Last: The Research-Product Gulf.”  The final product was published in the March + April 2010 issue of interactions magazineTo say it has sparked some controversy in the design world would be an understatement.  Some of the responses (pro & con) include:

Here are a few of the more interesting excerpts:

  • “Design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories, but essentially useless when it comes to breakthroughs.” (p. 38)
  • “Although the deep and rich study of people’s lives is useful for incremental innovation, history shows that this is not how the brilliant, earth-shattering, revolutionary innovations come about.” (p. 39)
  • “The least interesting innovations to the university and company research community are the small, slow enhancements that gradually lower costs while improving performance. But in fact, not only is this where most product enhancement takes place, but it is also where the research community can add the most value.” (p. 42)
  • “But even though incremental improvement is the most powerful and important mechanism for a company, all the excitement revolves around the dramatic breakthrough.” (p. 42)
  • “The technology will come first, the products second, and then the needs will slowly appear, as new applications become luxuries, then “needs,” and finally, essentials.” (p. 42)

Whether you agree with his thesis or not, it’s a worthwhile read that might provide you the opportunity to see design research in a new light.

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Taking Advantage of Technology, Not Vice Versa

March 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boise, design, human factors, Idaho 

This week the Idaho Business Review published my article, “Taking Advantage of Technology, Not Vice Versa,” which was written for the Boise Young Professionals’ monthly column.

In essence, it’s a concise encapsulation of my worldview regarding technology and people.

Also, here are the links for the PBS Frontline episode “Digital Nation” and the Edge 2010 annual question “How is the Internet changing the way you think?” that I mentioned in the article.

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