This week was quite interesting. Firstly let me mention some coincidences that came to be during the course of this week. Prior to our session with the Design for America reps, we were to read the design thinking article by Tim Brown. This was interesting as I had received the Creating Confidence book, written by Tom & David Kelly from IDEO, from one of my friends earlier in the semester! He gave it to me to help me with my designs relative to software (I was to take a web programming class in the semester). So today, in my web programming class, talking about the topic, UI Design, guess who comes up in the conversation? Tom & David Kelly! Pretty interesting series of coincidences. Anyway.
During our session we learned about design, more specifically, how to design things with the end user in mind. We were introduced to four different users we were to design for. Each of the four users are blind and are having difficulties acclimating to changes in their environment. We got to do a series of brain storming on ourselves and then group together to group think and come up with different ideas. After the group brainstorming session we were then given time to create a product for our chosen user. We had a young college student, Jessica, who was struggling to acclimate to campus life due to her blindness. Our group came up with DrinkSafe, a drink handle and cup system that allows her to drinks closed and safe in the midst of a crowd. The handle also had a fingerprint system that personalizes her handle her use only. This way, she can be sure that the only thing is her drink is her drink, and nothing else! Our rationale for creating this product was that it would mean one less obstacle to overcome with regards to hanging out on campus. This was a very interesting experience and I was able to learn a lot about design through the exercise.
I’ve been learning so much about design this semester–this is not something I anticipated. However, this is something that I find extremely useful. I mean, design is everywhere, and as the article explains is becoming increasingly important. Design isn’t just something that happens at the end of creation, but something that takes place in the beginning, and often times, in the midst of creation. So what does this mean for me? I’ve got to pay attention to design. Everything from the design of my code to the actual UI, should be considered in order to produce the best product/work possible.
What’s in store for the future? Well I hope this to apply this to many of my class and personal projects. I think my most valuable take away from this experience is THINK ABOUT THE USER! That is what I’m going to do in my future creations and hopefully in my semester long product of trying to find a solution to my having to physically get up to turn off my lights problem.