E/ME 105 "Engineering Design of Products for the Developing World" Nov. 16, 2006 Lecture
Today… Human Factors: the Product Interface. Models and Effective Simulation in Design. Development and Design Research in Guatemala… Design without Borders.
Human Factors: An Interface Problem … it is possible to visualize an ergonomics problem as an interface problem... Arce, after Bailey and Norman.
Human Factors: An Interface Problem Some issues to consider when designing the interface: Different kinds of users need different interfaces for the same product (a product must have multiple interfaces). The intellectual process between “perceiving the world” and “executing the action” is a natural one - i.e., we all do it… … however, it is influenced by relative factors such as age, gender, culture…
Human Factors: An Interface Problem For instance, colors… there is a “psychological meaning”, for colors, but that is often challenged by cultural meanings… Another example: “straight forward” reactions… many times the user interpretation and response to a system stimuli is influenced by cultural values.
Human Factors: An Interface Problem So, a model is one of the main tools a designer has available to test user interfaces. Such models should allow the designer to: Test different interfaces across different users. “Measure” the cultural factors implied in the user’s response to a product.
Design Models Efficient Simulation “Model” Definition: “A complex analogy, specifically chosen by its user (the designer) to describe the structure, functions and / or mechanisms for a problem / solution.” Every model is a “simulation”… it is not the “real thing” Depending on its purpose, some characteristics of the actual product are not present in the model… e.g., size (the model is a scale model); Materials (some - or all - materials are simulated)
Design Models Efficient Simulation In many instances, some sort of code needs to be created - e.g., in some geography maps the color in different areas tells the user how “high” the land represented is… That requires an agreement between the model creator and the model user (many times such agreements are grouped in “standard rules”) The more abstract the model is, the larger the number of “conventional rules” both, the model creator and the model user, have to know to create and use the model…
Design Models Efficient Simulation That is to say, the level of abstraction in a model is in direct proportion to the number of codes needed to create and use it. For example, the following is a very abstract model used to describe and explain something… E=mc2 The abstraction level is very high, as well as the amount of “training” needed to understand it and use it… let alone to create it…
Design Models Efficient Simulation Also, something very remarkable in this example is how effective the model is: with minimum resources - i.e., paper, a pencil and some symbols, one is able to represent very complex things (if we know the code!). In other words, once we go through the rather long and “painful” process of mastering a code, abstract models become very efficient models… E=mc2 Other examples of abstract models: music notation, written literature…
Design Models Efficient Simulation “Model” Types: So… Models can be classified in terms of their “abstraction level” - + Concrete Models Iconic models Abstract Models Prototypes, Mock-ups. Virtual 3D Modeling, Maps, Technical Drawings Formulas, Textual descriptions
Design Models Efficient Simulation Every one of these categories have advantages and disadvantages: - + Concrete Models Iconic models Abstract Models Easier to understand with little training (no codes needed), Expensive to make. Steep learning curve. Very cheap to make. Easily modifiable.
Design Models Efficient Simulation Sometimes, it’s argued that a discipline is more mature when it uses the more sophisticated abstract models… - e.g., An engineer can represent a bridge with a mathematical formula, a designer or an architect would do it with a scale model… - + Concrete Models Iconic models Abstract Models Easier to understand with little training (no codes needed), Expensive to make. Steep learning curve. Very cheap to make. Easily modifiable.
Design Models Efficient Simulation Different types of model are used through the different stages during the design process in a back and forth way… Usually, but not necessarily, very abstract or iconic models at the beginning and very concrete ones towards the end… - + Concrete Models Iconic models Abstract Models Easier to understand with little training (no codes needed), Expensive to make. Steep learning curve. Very cheap to make. Easily modifiable.
Design Models Efficient Simulation - + Concrete Models Iconic models Abstract Models
Design Models Efficient Simulation Also, when testing or validating a solution proposal, different types of model can be used, depending on: The factor that is being tested - e.g., usability, aesthetics, production, assembling… The nature of the user - e.g., main user, the mechanic in charge of maintenance, an user with a low literacy level
Design Models Efficient Simulation On that regard, when dealing with “design and development” projects it is very clear then, that a full-scaled, very realistic, functional prototype (a concrete model) is a good thing… However, just consider that it could be expensive, hard to make, hard to test (specially when you are “there” and we are “here”); also, it is hard to change things…
Design Models Efficient Simulation • I will encourage you to: • Device different models to test different factors • - e.g., a scale model to check on assembly, a digital image to validate different colors and textures, a computer animation to show its components and mechanisms, a comparison table to show its advantages relative to the current situation, show the cost / benefit ratio... • Create partial or totally functional models to “show” how it is used - e.g., Jeff gave a live demonstration of his product in San Juan (many times it is easier to understand something by watching somebody else using it than by trying to use it…) • Make a “compelling case” with your models • e.g., and we all saw a video recording of Jeff´s being tested… impressive. • Create a model setting that will help people to identify themselves with the product • - e.g., in Photoshop show the product in its context…
Landivar’s INDIS INDIS has organized its projects within three general programs: INDIS is the Design Research Institute at Landívar University in Guatemala. It is linked to the Faculty of Architecture and Design, and is in charge of promoting and executing projects which open opportunities to develop new research tools and knowledge in design, applied to Guatemala specific circumstances. Programs Design without Borders ProgramArtisan Development ProgramParticipatory Urban Development and Management Program
INDIS Crafts Industrial design student projects working with American designers in teams with craft producers and exporters to develop local innovation capabilities and products. Funding and support provided by ATA (Aid To Artisans) and USAID. Craft design courses in several areas (textiles, ceramics, natural fibers, natural dyes) for industrial design students, artisans and exporters.
Norwegian Center For Design And Architecture Landivar´s Design Research Institute Design without Borders GUATEMALA NORWAY
Bibliography Bailey, R. “Human Performance Engineering.” Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989 Haugeto, K. (ed.) “Design Without Borders. Experiences from Incorporating Industrial Design into Projects for Development and Humanitarian Aid.” Oslo: Norsk Form, 2004 Manzini, E. “The Material of Invention.” Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989 Norman, D. “The Psychology of Everyday Things.” New York: Basic Books, 1988
Contact Oscar Arce Indis - Design Research Institute Design without Borders Coordination / Guatemala Universidad Rafael Landívar +502 2426 2606 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.norskform.no/default.asp?V_ITEM_ID=1490