why the hate-on User-centered Design? (UCD history lesson)

8 Oct 2008 - 9:11am
5 years ago
1 reply
2775 reads
David Scharn
2007

Jared wrote:
>For those who care, UCD was born on the engineering side...
>...UCD was a knee jerk reaction to the times...

Hi Jared,

Thanks for the history lesson. I am one of those that care. It sounds
like you're saying the early days of UCD were a focused response to a
problem ("knee-jerk reaction") that didn't consider - or perhaps wasn't
even aware of - the insights of industrial design. Today it seems we can
apply many lessons from Dreyfuss to our work, but this is the benefit of
hindsight. Would some industrial design methods have been applicable in
the early days? If you et al. were to do it over again, would Dreyfuss
be a valuable resource?

Dave Scharn

Comments

9 Oct 2008 - 8:58am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

> Would some industrial design methods have been applicable in
> the early days? If you et al. were to do it over again, would Dreyfuss
> be a valuable resource?

I am one of the "et al"s, I guess.

My answer is yes. Industrial design methods and perspectives, both
the Dreyfussian and the more aesthetically oriented, would have been
valuable in the formative stages of UCD.

Main reason is that it could have implied a more proactive role for
UCD in shaping the futures of using digital products and services
(i.e., the situations we are in now, with an increasing ratio of
discretionary ludic use to mandatory instrumental use).

But I suppose the question is hugely hypothetical. There were
occasional champions of industrial design, graphic design and
architecture perspectives among the academic fathers and mothers of
UCD, but they never managed to create much momentum at the time. A
sign, I suppose, that the community at large saw other concerns as
more important.

Jonas Löwgren

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