Creating Human-centered Products and Services

This reading is all about the business and management side of a designer’s job; mostly a guide to project planning, when and what to convey to the other collaborators e.g. engineers and stakeholders. In the design process, the protagonist is not the designer but the client and there are many supporting roles that participate in the process. Therefore it is important to have project planning, to provide an estimate overview of the procedure and expected result for the other collaborators. Communication is important in these multi-participation because people of different fields have separate priorities and that may risk the project veering off the wrong direction if not under the supervision of the designer.

The reading starts off with the basic definition of design and its different types. The writer made an interesting point about experience design, that human-centered design is not experience design and it was presumptuous that we could experience like others would.

We can design every aspect of the environment to encourage an optimal experience, but since each person brings their own attitudes, behaviours and perceptions to any situation, no designer can determine exactly what experience someone has.

He also discussed how beneficial data can be in design under Goal-Directed design, where software inventor Alan Cooper and designer Wayne Greenwood created multiple personas as references for implementing design guidelines; “making conversations about product design and functionality much easier than before”. One of the good advices in the reading is Principles, which I understood as something similar to rules or parameters. It is one of the factors of Goal-directed design and it helps to steer ones process to good solutions. It is important to ask two questions when settling upon the principles of the project.

Does it help your users accomplish their goal? Will it help users minimize their work? 

This is a personal throwback for me as I have done less design projects as compared to my polytechnics days. Which makes me wonder, during the time while I strive to make my work more substantial, have I lost sight of its purpose to visualize concrete solutions? I do suppose I stand on the border between design and art as I gear towards function and yet rejects restrictions by exploring creative expression.

Author: Ying Hui

Hello :)

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