More don's argument.
The reason is simple. People's needs come after the technologies exist. The
need for cooking came after the taming of fire (animals don't cook their
meals). The need for communication devices (telegraph, telephone, radio,
cellphone, internet, postal mail, email) came after the technologies made
them possible. People 1000 years ago did not have a need for email, or not
even for the telephone: it took the existence of technologies to make these
activities possible, which then slowly determined the need. (Remember, when
the telephone was first introduced, few people could conceive of why they
would want it. Hotels resisted it. Etc.)
Did this already circulate? If so, sorry for the repost.
Nussbaum's critique of Norman's conclusions about design research and
innovation. Followed by some interesting discussion. Including a reply by
Norman himself which begins: "Sorry folks, but I think you miss the point. I
too bristled at Norman's conclusion -- and I happen to be Norman."
I'm slightly troubled by the one-to-one correspondence between "design
research" and "ethnography", here, and feel like the whole discussion, while
striking some valid cords in several places, is somewhat aimed at the wrong
level - design specs, vs. strategies more broadly.
Best wishes for a Happy 2010!
mcefkin[at]yahoo.com or mcefkin[at]alumni.rice.edu
Editor: "Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Reflections on Research in
and of Corporations"