[Response] Designing for the Digital Age – Kim Goodwin

In this reading of “Designing for the Digital Age – Goal-oriented Product and service Design” by Kim Goodwin, it gives a clearer view on basically how to design.

Goodwin gave an accurate definition for the word – Design – is the craft of visualizing concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints.

Serving human needs and goals will confuse people on whether human factor and HCI are different from designers. Goodwin raise the criteria to differ both groups of people. Designers will give creative problem-solving solutions whereas people who are trained in human factor and HCI are people with evaluative techniques. I agree with her as the line between designing and making something suitable/comfortable for human can be very vague at times as all our target-audience are human beings. Being trained in human factor will be a bonus for designers as there will be some considerations given to human. Personally I feel that on top of designs are for usability, it is also tackling with emotions that users feel when they uses the product, which is something that thoughtful designs can achieve.

Goodwin also focused on Goal-Oriented Design and the method to it. I agree that a goal-oriented design can maximise the efficiency of the team and also ensuring clear communication with other teammates or client. However, I am not very receptive to the point that she made about pattern. In some way, I feel that having a pattern can seem like a template/stencil for design. Personally, I’ve always felt that a good design should be polished overtime, just like brewing a pot of soup, taking time for the taste and essence to reach the maximum. It will be definitely easier for designers with their “vocabulary”, where they can come out with solution faster and efficiently. However, if every design were to follow certain template then where and when will the breakthrough in design come?

[Response] Thoughtful Interaction Design By Jonas Lowgren

Lowgren brought up about how digital technology is a material that has no qualities, designers are not restricted by anything. He also brought up a good point about how designs should be reflected on again and again to make it more thoughtful. And I would link that to why operating systems such as iOS and Android has multiple multiple updates within a year. It can be troublesome but definitely good.

One of the update in iOS for iPhone actually changed drastically the whole look and feel of the operating system, moving on from the previous blockish-blue-steel look to now, sleek look. Also re-arranging a lot of essential functions and making more convenient and intuitive for users. For eg, the notification chart comes in 2 pages, with one about the To-Do list etc. Also the Control center has the alarm, calculator, torch light all in there.

Talking about thoughtfully designed user experience, one of the top product that people will think of will be smart phones. The convenience of a smartphone can be largely attributed to the wide range of applications that they have. Some of these applications are really designed thoughtfully for their users.

One of the application that I would like to highlight will be Grab. Personally, I use Grab quite often for short trips. I like it when I open the application and they will straight away notify me on the promotions that I can enjoy and they will input the promotional code for me straightaway, without me having to remember the codes and type it in the box. Another feature of Grab is that they will automatically input your destination for you based on your routine for the past few weeks and it really saved my time and hassle of trying to pin a correct location for pick-up. It’s all these little details that made the process of Grab-ing more convenient and enjoyable.

Another product that I would say it’s a thoughtfully designed product will be the Swiss Knife. It has all the essential tools/cutters arranged and packed nicely into this pocket size product. Every cutter has a sleek indent intended for users to pull it out easily. It is amazing how the knife can be super useful when you are out camping/hiking or basically just not at home. The look of it might be confusing but it can be easily understood by the users.