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    December 18, 2007


    Brian Anderson

    Actually, the problem has less to do with the intelligence of the machines than it does with the short sightedness of the industrial designers: they are too focused on logic and have neglected usability and the 'art and ways of life.' As for the purchasing agents, they focus on unit costing and bulk pricing and, again, forget about the person that has to use it.

    In the customer revolution that is now only beginning to unfold, the concerns of the end-user will increasingly be in the forefront of all things designed for them. That's defined as Usability and wise marketing.

    To make a human parallel, you have all the IQ (smart machines)you want, but without the vital EQ (emotional intelligence or Usability factor), a person can come across an unfeeling, remote, introverted, socially awkward, and a pencil neck geek.

    However, these smart machines are social in nature so they have to designed, shaped, and tested for their social fluidity. Can they be understood the first time around? If they can't, then more testing is necessary - and maybe even a re-design.

    An automobile navigation system, then, should give the driver several route choices accompanied by full colour photography and graphics of the scenery. That blends art and the ways of life with design. It's time for industrial design to be less industrial and more people-oriented; after all, isn't that who it's really designed for?


    I agree that product needs to be people-oriented. Its difficult to make product to everyone's liking. In a way the product should be such that common man could figure out the basic functionalities, but again here take for example that alarm clock.. if i would have been the person who designed it i would think that it would be so simple to figure out its functionalities, if ask my fellow being they would also seem to agree with me.. Here we would actually need to have someone who does an on-field survey to find its simplicity or usefulness to the consumer. Again in the end question comes whether this survey should be done before designing the product or afterwards. Ideally i think it should be at both times and should be recursive process.. which will be time consuming process. And we again have a conflict!

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