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.Print This Post
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 magazine. To say it has sparked some controversy in the design world would be an understatement. Some of the responses (pro & con) include:
- Technology vs. Design – What is the Source of Innovation?
- Technology vs. Design – Part Two
- Don Norman says design research is great for improvement for useless for innovation
- About Don Norman’s take “design research”
- A Rebuttal to Technology First Needs Last
- What Good is Design Research?
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.Print This Post
In essence, it’s a concise encapsulation of my worldview regarding technology and people.Print This Post