Response – Design for the Digital Age

“Design is the craft of visualising concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints.” by Kim Goodwin, the author of the book, explained that design is a discipline that is neither art nor science. Design is something that serves human needs and goals. These human needs and goals include aesthetic satisfaction but more than that. Designers deliver an integrated solution for problems that might occur in a system. Hence, designing a complex service and product, it will require talents from multiple design disciplines, for example, industrial design, graphic design, and interaction design.

‘Goal-Directed Design’ is an approach to product and service design developed at Cooper.  With this approach, designers set an end goal at the beginning of the project by creating scenarios and personas. With clearly set goals in mind, designers can explore different solutions to achieve the goals. When designers are fully aware of the end goal, they are less likely to go off track and hence waste time on the design process.

Goodwin also used rest of the paragraphs to summarise the four components of goal-directed design: Principles, patterns, process, and practices. Through the summary, I feel that this is a book worth reading because it is very much related to my final year project. An effective design method can help me develop a concrete solution to the problem.

Response to Thoughtful Interaction Design

The reading talked about how designers are restricted by the qualities of the materials, whether in form of physical or digital forms. It is good to have detailed knowledge about the material so that designers can work well with them. Working with a combination of two materials can be a great challenge especially. However, designers should also open their minds during the design process to allow more possibilities, not dictated by the limitation of the materials. Because both digital and physical materials are constantly challenged by technology breakthroughs.

It also considers what is considered ‘good design’. Designers need to take responsibility for the outcome of the design. A good design is not just something that just fulfills the customers’ requirement but needs to take into consideration the technical, social, ideological and political consequences. The design process is so complex that designers should remain critical to any design theories, not just blindly adopt them, but reappropriate them depends on the situation.

Designing creative approaches to responsive environments in public space – Response

Prof Nohe brought up some very useful points.

One was about designing through the lenses of different demographics instead of from just designers’ own perspectives. So that designers do not assume that users are all tech-savvy person, hence he needs to make the interaction intuitive and easy to learn. Designers also consider about kids and them being shorter, will not be able to reach the remote control if it is placed too high. So he designed the platform at a height where kids can reach.

There are a lot of external factors that need to be considered when doing the design. Depending on the geographical location, you might need to consider climate, weather factors, for example, if it might rain, there might be strong sunlight or strong wind. When considering these factors, designers then can decide if the sculpture needs to be placed outdoor or indoor; if the structure needs to be extra hardy; or should it be waterproof.

Prof Nohe brought up that he observed user teaching newcomers how to use the remote control.  We could think of the interaction between not only the installation and users but between users and users. With all these considerations in mind, then maybe we can create a better design.