Iterative Change Management

24 Nov 2003 - 6:33am
12 years ago
1 reply
942 reads
Narey, Kevin

I agree Molly. It seems that CD Evans believes that the automobile design (I
can only assume you refer to the interaction of it's form) needs to change
because it is 'unsuccessful'. The form and interaction of an automobile has
been globally accepted as a resounding 'success' if success can be defined
as 'user acceptance' - a test often employed in the success (or indeed
failure) of software applications. Indeed the form of a vehicle is now a
written standard in many countries worldwide - why is that 'unsuccessful'?.

Many developments have been made to make the automobile a safer, easier to
use (and often materially enhanced..) commodity through exhaustive testing,
user interaction, aerodynamic design and engineering. I strongly suspect
this has been sanctioned through user feedback as well as original thought.

As Molly states, this is done over a longer time frame. I suspect that the
time frame issue is to make the automobile's change transition to the user a
smooth one and enhance the current model of use. Iterative change management
in software apps or websites is generally more noticeable as iterations
(whether by style, function or behavioural) are generally more frequent.
This is probably due to the relative maturity of the interaction baselines
of the two compared.

IMO User feedback in terms of behaviour/interaction in the automobile
industry is now much more of a focus than it has ever been and is really
pushing the envelope in terms of a vehicle's form and function. There a many
attempts to revisit the base form of many products; a healthy practice for
design and for human benefit - change for the sake of change has
historically proven to be misguided and costly.

Web UI Developer
VW Group

-----Original Message-----
From: molly w. steenson [mailto:molly at]
Sent: 24 November 2003 10:41
To: CD Evans; Prof. Anirudha Joshi; discuss at
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Patriarchs of the Design Family

Not true: major car manufacturers are indeed looking at interaction
design and automobiles. Some of the innovations you'll see in the
future will be service related (what happens in a future where a car
is a shared commodity, and not an owned resource) and will directly
affect the interactions the car has with the road (what if a car
couldn't have accidents?). These are not industrial design shifts, or
digital industrial design, but something much different.

It's important to realize that car design happens on long timelines
(you're designing for something 10 years out, for instance) -- and to
make a short-term strategic design decision is to short-change the
long-term viability of what you're designing.

And if you're a web designer/architect/software person who's used to
dealing with very short timeframes (and projects and companies that
no longer exist), it's very interesting to think of automotive
design. It's a different type of problem to solve altogether.


At 11:02 +0000 21/11/03, CD Evans wrote:
>I kind of feel this discussion is becoming convinced into thinking
>that industrial design is a successful practice. No offence to the
>Industrial Designers reading this discussion, but the interaction
>design of the automobile hasn't changed in almost, what, 80 years?
>I consider that failure. Any 'thing' that has been accepted by
>society should evolve. The car was designed as is for quick jaunts
>into town or to country, not for three hour commutes, or for driving
>across canada.
>I'm starting to question the evolution in computing as well. It
>pangs of 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. And it is broken, very
>broken. Look at it! It's horrible. Square, slow, inhumane, unmoving,
>Silent and crippling.
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but this may be an inheritance from a
>by-product of product design, accepting the bare minimum of a
>working model and very rarely revisiting the original thought.
>Meanwhile, people suffer.
>'Interactions' and 'Products' have failed to continue to evolve. I
>say we should be designing 'Systems'.
>CD Evans
>A Systems Designer
>At 11:58 am -0800 21/11/03, Prof. Anirudha Joshi wrote:
>>Correcting some typos in my last msg:
>>Humanity has moved on from these problems, and so automobile designers
>>(subset of INDUSTRIAL designers) concentrate on form. But other
>>INDUSTRIAL designers concentrate on other things. For example, an
>>educational toy ...
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