Designing for people

Some technologists want to create a seamless future…I ‘m not one of those, I think it’s useful that parts are nubby – some parts leave room for error or space for adjustment, some room for learning behaviour.

Han Pham is Future Cities Experience Strategist, at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities.

HanPham

Talking points:

If you only ask users about your product, they’ll only tell you about your product – we need to be able to step away from the screen.

Before we bring in our life-changing solution, we have to realise that people survive without it – this can be uplifting and challenging together.

We’re designing for how people behave, at an individual level but also considering what does this mean at the community level?

Sometimes you want to make it invisible, sometimes you want to see detail

Sometimes you ask people about the future, and they think about the future as inevitable and they think about it as this glossy surface thing that’s going to come their way whether they like it or not, and it’s not very porous – there’s not a lot of transparency. People are frightened by this – there’s a sense of helplessness.

We are not just designing things, we’re designing how people learn. If we can create frameworks for how they understand something – with frameworks that are sticky and that work for them – builds an expectation of how things should work. We can make use of that learning window so products and services can change how people think.

Users don’t necessarily want to carry an identity card that says ‘I’m a sustainable person’…they are them

Incremental changes can be a sea-change.

Sometimes a sea-change is finding a pattern of behaviour that not only the lead adopters are going to adopt

(are you an activist) Yes, I say to technology companies, people have a place.

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Author: Samuel Mann

An Associate Professor with a background in both IT and land management, Sam has developed applied IT for regional government, crown research institutes and large organisations. He has taught computing since 1994, at Otago Polytechnic Information Technology since 1997, including five years as Head of Department. Sam has published over 150 conference and journal papers in the fields of augmented experiences; sustainability; and computer education. Sam is responsible for the development of Education for Sustainability at Otago Polytechnic where we are committed to every graduate thinking and acting as a sustainable practitioner

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