[anthrodesign] Don Norman: Technology First, Needs Last

11 Dec 2009 - 6:41am
5 years ago
1 reply
624 reads
Gino Rodrigues
2008

Great reflexions, but I strongly disagree with the basic assertion.
What gave birth to that "Technology first"? Airplane for what? Radio
for what?

A miracle? Or an accident? Well, accidents did give rise to
technologies in the past, but none of those mentioned in the article.
The biggest missing thing here is that no technology comes up in a
vacuum. And the fact that the inventor did not make any research
efforts does not prove the invention didn´t come from a real human
need: they saw the "hidden need" with bare eyes, then a tecnological
insight, and only then, dedicated their lives to make it.

But one thing is true: the technology innovation turns something
possible, only then the design innovations can make better use for it.
A new technology is like a new tool in a designer´s toolbox of
insights. So it is even clearer to me that the article draw the lines
between technology (or possibility) and design (form and behavior).

So I would dare to correct the assertion, and add "A genious´s lone
observation and insight first", which DID come from quiet observation
of needs, that took an audacious technical alchemist´s mind(s) to
believe in it.

Comments

15 Dec 2009 - 5:53pm
Juan Lanus
2005

I just wrote a little bit about Don Norman{s essay http://bit.ly/67PCQU
I expose my take about the value of interaction researchers' work as
mind influencers.
--
Juan Lanus

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 09:41, Gino Rodrigues <ginorodrigues at gmail.com>wrote:

> Great reflexions, but I strongly disagree with the basic assertion.
> What gave birth to that "Technology first"? Airplane for what? Radio
> for what?
>
> A miracle? Or an accident? Well, accidents did give rise to
> technologies in the past, but none of those mentioned in the article.
> The biggest missing thing here is that no technology comes up in a
> vacuum. And the fact that the inventor did not make any research
> efforts does not prove the invention didn´t come from a real human
> need: they saw the "hidden need" with bare eyes, then a tecnological
> insight, and only then, dedicated their lives to make it.
>
> But one thing is true: the technology innovation turns something
> possible, only then the design innovations can make better use for it.
> A new technology is like a new tool in a designer´s toolbox of
> insights. So it is even clearer to me that the article draw the lines
> between technology (or possibility) and design (form and behavior).
>
> So I would dare to correct the assertion, and add "A genious´s lone
> observation and insight first", which DID come from quiet observation
> of needs, that took an audacious technical alchemist´s mind(s) to
> believe in it.
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