‘Perhaps as the millennium draws precariously to its close it will also provide the stimulus to look creatively at information design and so structure our systems as to enhance and celebrate the most precious asset of any society, which is the skill, ingenuity, creativity, imagination, and commitment of its people.’ (Cooley, pg 61)
Humans designing and designing for humans
Being intuitive, I often wondered what was the inspiration behind one of my ideas or designs. I got a hint as to how to go about examining this from Cooley’s statement, ‘The notion of design arose during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Europe and connoted the separation of thinking and doing.’ (Cooley, 59) This led me to the following conclusion about Human-Centered design. Human-Centered Design acknowledges the truth of the Polanyi notion ‘There are things we know but cannot tell,’ (1962) that design and human intelligence is intuitive. Therefore, the first aspect of Human-Centered design is to lead intuitive designers to a greater self-awareness of the decisions that inspire their designs. The second aspect, equally important is a real understanding of user. It advocates incorporating the human element of the user into the existing rule-based core of design. This process can produce design that is intuitive, examined and truly functional.
The Unscientific Human Asset
‘Frequently, the big issues in society are prefigured by our poets and our artists, and we diminish ourselves as engineers and scientists if we do not interact with them in a multidisciplinary way.’ (Cooley, 76)
Cooley’s Human-Centered System focuses on human beings as assets – assets that are inherently non-scientific. (Dertouzos et al. 1989) If that is the case, why design products for unscientific beings scientifically? (Cooley pg 66) Introducing the human factor into science can increase the value of many of the processes. This focus would truly generate positive change for society.(ibid)
Human-Centered Systems require two basic components 1. proficiency at whatever technology a project calls for (rule-based core) 2. design that applies the following 9 key characteristics – coherence, inclusiveness, malleability, engagement, ownership, responsiveness, purpose, panoramic, and transcendence.
I have and will continue to gather all blog addresses and order them according to the four design theories. I feel this will help with coherence and inclusiveness. This should also help in the event the blog address is posted in the post heading and therefore difficult to access. This function addresses responsiveness. Each classmate that visits has the option to choose which blogs to comment on based on the design theory that interests them – malleability.
Please post feedback and let me know if this idea works for you of if you have other notions to make this blog more Human-Centered Systems friendly.
PROS of Human-Centered Systems
A pro of Human-Centered System can be illustrated by the following link
Although this focuses on education, Human-Centered Systems is all about fitting the process to the user and not vice versa.
The Khan Academy
This video that indicates how education can be tailored to meet all students need. This is a must for anyone who ever had trouble learning math or has children in grade school!
CONS Human-Centered Systems
The multi-faceted complexities of users make it difficult to design information that is easily understood by multiple people, at the same time.
What do you think the pros and cons of Human-Centered Design are?
Jacobson, R. (1999). Information Design. Massachusetts: MIT Press.