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PHD-DESIGN  October 2008

PHD-DESIGN October 2008

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Subject:

SV: Is design always user-centred?

From:

Klaus Krippendorff <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Klaus Krippendorff <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 06:55:04 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

dear nicola,
 
you raise a variety of issues.  i have written a whole book on human-centered design.  sure, orgganizations can be stakeholders in the sense that the individuals representing them assert a stake in them.  to me users are subsets of stakeholders who utilize artifacts instrumentally a opposed to consuming them or publicly affirming or opposing them, e.g., in the form of environmental action groups.
 
when i talk of human centered i mean among other criteria that artifacts are conceptualized in terms of thos who interact with them, avoiding objectifications that exclude human perception and action.  for example, an engineer who calculates the strength of a bolt does not make reference to what somone thinks about it and in fact avoids his or her own thinking in favor of established calculations.
 
i do not see a trap there.  if there is you should tell me who is trapped in what.
 
klaus 

________________________________

Från: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design genom Nicola Morelli
Skickat: on 2008-10-15 02:14
Till: [log in to unmask]
Ämne: Re: Is design always user-centred?



Hmmm, Klaus,
With your post you have apparently removed some of the problems in the terminology, human centred instead of user centred, design for stakeholders, as opposed to design for technical functions.
However I'm not sure the terms you use do not hide new traps.
User-centred does not correspond with human centred. Users could be an organisation (which is represented by individuals but also represent some other instance concerning economics, technology or even natural phenomena), or even a technology (as in the design of interfaces between machines).
Also the distinction you propose between design that acknowledges stakeholders and design that satisfies technical functions may not work appropriately.
I think we agree on the fact that, when looking at stakeholders, designers will need to consider some technical functions. But also on the second part of your dichotomy: technical functions may concern the way stakeholders use them (here, for instance, I'm thinking of the studies of my engineering design colleagues at Mads Clausen Institute, who spent a lot of time re-designing valves and other functional devices starting from the way technicians would like to work on them).
Ciao
Nicola

Nicola Morelli, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Design
Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
http://servicedesign.wikispaces.com/
Blog http://nicomorelli.wordpress.com/
skype: nicomorelli


-----Original Message-----
From: Klaus Krippendorff [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 14. oktober 2008 23:59
To: Nicola Morelli; [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Is design always user-centred?

the issue is not whether design IS user-centered or not but what you want design to be.

engineering design doesn't need to be and mostly isn't human centered.  so is the design of experiments.

i prefer to distinguish between design that needs to acknowledge its stakeholders. which may be individual users or a corporate clients represented by individuals, and engineering that needs to satisfy technical functions.

klaus


-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design on behalf of Nicola Morelli
Sent: Tue 10/14/2008 3:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Is design always user-centred?

I don't like the term User-centred, either, because I find it hard talking about "users", I would prefer some different term. However this is another discussion.
Concerning the question whether design should always be user-centred, I would agree with David that design is in fact very often "producer-centred" and possibly add that in other cases design is "designer-centred". In fact many design processes are still considering the designer, not the user, as the centre of the design activity.
So I have my personal preference for a design activity that focuses on users (or customers), instead of being the mirror of the design's ego. But on the other hand "user-centred design" is not giving design any specific qualification to the design activity, beside that of not being centred on the needs of a company or on the ego of a designer.
Nicola

Nicola Morelli, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Design
Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
http://servicedesign.wikispaces.com/
Blog http://nicomorelli.wordpress.com/
skype: nicomorelli


-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Parag Deshpande
Sent: 14. oktober 2008 13:10
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Is design always user-centred?

Dear members of the list,

While I know that knowing users ( i don't agree with the term though) and
their needs are important for design, I always question if it is necessary
that that design should always be user-centred?

If not, then what does it mean for the design process?

Any thoughts?

parag deshpande
PhD candidate,
IDC, UL, Ireland

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