Christian Long

David Kelley: Human-Centered Design

In TED Talks on April 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Extra Credit reflection by EMMA L.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

David Kelley: Human-Centered Design

Over the last few decades, the design and approach to technology have transformed from functional gadgets to adding human behavior and experience into everyday and newly created products.

This gradual trend can be seen in the new car models, stores, the internet and phones/music holder/app gaming/calendar/watch/calculator, you get the picture. The concept of human centered design is keeping the consumer in mind while creating devices to help improve the lives of humans, animals and Earth’s natural landscapes.

IDEO is a design and innovation consultancy who is renowned worldwide for its innovative, user-centered approach to design. David Kelley is the cofounder of this design firm whose motto is “We are a global design consultancy. We create impact through design.” In his TED talk, Kelley shares numerous of ways that technology is taking on human personalities to enhance user’s experience as well as functioning more conveniently.

The Prada store in New York is one example how this human-centered design sparks people’s curiosity and includes cultural aspects as well appeals to the clients. Creating custom technology for the staff and clients to use, produces an easier and more organized way to shop. Every item in the store has a RF tag that can be scanned and used to upload more information about the items on any of the screens in the store as well as display the items taken into the dressing room. From liquid crystal displays to a plasma mirror that has a three second delay to show the client what they look like from all angles. These new additions to the store allow the products and merchandise to be showcased at its best while also influencing the client positively.

The cubicle has also been discussed with numerous design companies to create “the ultimate cubicle”. Those low walls are great for spontaneous collaboration, but also for spontaneous interruption. In this case Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strips, with the smartest designers he could find began their mission to redesign the cubicle. The idea in mind was to make the cubicle more human. By adding features such as a hammock, lights that reflect the sun’s position at that time a day, and homey touches like built in fish tanks turns the boring, stress filling cubicle into a relaxing, comfortable work environment.

Structures that recycle water and preserve energy are one of the many ways we can reuse Earth’s resources that benefit both us as humans and our planet’s environment. Buildings like the Millennium Dome in London are just the stepping stones to the growing green revolution that will steer architecture and technology to aid our planet in the future.

Martin Fisher, a cofounder of IDEO, founded KickStart International, best known for the “Super-Money Maker Pump,” providing African farmers with both needed technology and the foundation for new businesses. Since 1999, 400,000 pumps have been sold and 38,000 African businesses launched, generating $38M annually.

This is how design will impact the future. This is how human-centered design will improve all humans on Earth while saving the environment.


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