Tag Archive for user satisfaction

Innovation 2.0

In my book on product design, Interfaces.com, I talk about a shift from evolutionary product design to the current model of version numbering. There has been a murmur of disappointment this last week when Apple issued iPhone 4S instead of the expected iPhone 5. The new features of iPhone 4S are exciting, new, and unexpected (think Siri). So what’s the problem? Is it really that the version number is too low for our expectations? In the days of yore, no one has ever heard of version numbers. What hammer do you own? Is it version 1.0 or 5.0? Do you care? We have many different types of hammers in our garage, but we don’t think of them in terms of version numbers, rather we focus on what they were designed to help us do: hammer a nail in the wall; pull out a nail; tack in the a little staple in the floor boards; create a hammered copper art piece. Each task requires a different approach and a different tool. And each tool was carefully and systematically honed to perfection by thousands of years of human use: from stone hammers to our tools in the garage a continuous progression of…

The Cultural Context for Product Design

Nothing exists in isolation. Design divorced from the context in which the product is used is of little value to its audience. Cognitively, this makes sense—most designers agree that they have to consider the environment, culture, and situation as part of the process of developing a new product (or redesigning an old one). But practically, context and culture get little play in design meetings. This post is aimed at relieving some of designers’ mirroring errors—helping see alternate ways their products might be used in the real world. Enjoy! Cultural Difference in Car Use: livestock Cultural Difference in Car Use: large loads Cultural Difference in Bike Use: large loads Notice the little bike on the left… Cultural Difference: people movers

Cultural Differences from the 4th Dimension: Time

Some cultural differences are brought to you by geographic distances, but some derive their wonderful exotic qualities from temporal separation. The ads below are all American…just from a different America—America of yesteryore. Role of Women What wives are for? Make her happy this Christmas—make it a hoover! Blow smoke in her face, she’ll love it! Go ahead and cry for it… Housework makes wives cute! Housework makes wives healthy. Healthy Kids Beer for mommies and babies… Give that baby a cola! Give your children the benefit of TV. Healthy You! Give cocaine a chance… Doctors prefer Camels. For a slimmer, flatter, more sinuous you, go with tape worms!

Fun, Functionality, Flow: the 3 F’s of Product Design

Good product design—design that solves a real need; design that considers the strengths and weaknesses of the user; design that stands the test of time and cultural fads—always incorporates the the 3 F’s: Fun, Functionality, and Flow. It’s easy to talk about the 3 F’s in abstract, but I thought taking a concrete example of a bicycle would be more productive. A bicycle is a designed object that satisfies a real need, does so in way that brings joy to its users, and the act of riding results in flow experience for many. The old “Liberator” poster tries to communicate all 3 F’s to the potential buyers of its products: liberator means freedom to move, real functionality; the woman warrior communicates power and fun—you will feel the way she looks! It’s exhilarating! Notice the high heels and the beautiful vista (with a rough terrain) and a kid pointing at the riders with envy. These posters, old advertising ads for bicycles, try to communicate the same: it’s fun, functional, and exciting to ride a bike. Ride, and look good. Ride, and be the center of attention. Design for Fun So what makes a particular design fun? It seems that one of…

Media and Fun

I’ve posted a video on this blog: “Because Product Should Be Fun!” The point is that design should create an emotional reaction in its audience. Here’s a collection of bus wrappings that have a strong emotional component, go amygdala! For another example of emotional design in packaging, please check out these blogs: “Emotional Design” and “Creative Use of Media to Advance a Message” for more bus fun.

The Haptic Feel of Books versus eBooks

We’ve traveled to Rome for our family vacation this year, and aside from a few summer reading books that I couldn’t find in an eBook format, we relied on our two Kindles and 3 iPads for our family reading needs. This is the second summer we brought primarily electronic versions of books—”The Count of Monte Cristo” is much easier to read when it fits into your hand and doesn’t weigh a ton… In the days before the Kindle and iPad, we carried an extra suitcase just for books. But there are drawbacks to buying and reading eBooks. Below are some of my thoughts and experiences—the cogitations of a voracious reader. Time & Progress As I was reading my novels, I found myself repeatedly trying to figure out where in the book I was. How far along was I? When is the next natural break (chapter, section end)? How many pages are there to the end of the chapter, end of the section, end of the book? These were not idle curiosities about my reading accomplishments, although when you do finish reading the book version of “The Count of Monte Cristo”, you do have a sense of having read something. An…