Christian Long

David Kelley: Human-Centered Design

In TED Talks on April 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Reflection by EDWARD C.

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

David Kelley:  Human-Centered Design

As Time passes our world’s technology increases every day. In this video David Kelley describes just a few ways today’s technology is designed to help humans live a more convenient life. David’s worldwide company, IDEO, takes a different approach of inventing objects than most designing companies.

IDEO designs their products while considering how the user of the product is going to benefit by using it. David’s few examples describe how his company is affecting the world from day to day bases. In the first example of the video David shows how designing a Prada shop can alter how its customers react to Prada’s products. The whole technology of the stores separates itself from many of the other stores. Such technology includes the RF tags, which have the ability to tell the price and how it looks on a screen. Another example of the technology that separates this store from others is the liquid crystal changing room. The changing room is at first transparent but when the customer wants to change he or she can simply tap on a switch which makes the changing room’s wall dark. Such technology are all designed by people who analyze what the buyer wants and what qualities will help persuade him or her to buy the product.

When making such products the designer must take into consideration the environment of the invention.

An example of how inventors are designing human centered products is “The Ultimate Cubicle”. Through asking a series of people who works in cubicles, these designers where able to understand and evaluate possibilities that would make a cubicle more likeable and relaxing. The project resulted with a cubicle that was completely designed to replicate a more soothing environment. By playing with the lighting, adding objects such as artificial flowers and fishes the user of the cubicle is more likely to feel at ease and in a calmer mind set. Other examples that consider the environment include the Greenwich watercycle Pavilion and the spy fish. The Pavilion was designed to be in a quiet and peaceful place outside the louder and more chaotic dome that shows the waterfall thus creating a relaxing environment for the spectators. The Spyfish, which was created by a company called H2I, was designed for people who wanted to explore the sea without having to actually going into the water. The inventors enhance the product with high quality graphics, light, and other qualities that make the consumer feel like he or she is in the water.

On a much bigger case where human centered technology alters many lives is started by Dr. Martin Fisher, an entrepreneur.

Dr. Martin’s evaluations of Kenya lead him to create a mass number of companies that manufactures products that created over 30,000 jobs for the locals. David’s teams of inventors are helping Martin create simple agricultural tools that allow the locals to successfully grow crops that would usually not be able to be grown in certain seasons. With the help of these entrepreneurs and inventors many locals of Kenya have been able to obtain more money and help their families live a better life.

Such human centered designs allow so many possibilities for the people. By designing products through the consumer’s point of view, the designers are able to more effectively persuade the buyer to buy the object. In the future more and more of these human centered products will be designed to benefit us all.


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