Any Ixder's working on physical products in the group?

3 Nov 2005 - 2:02pm
8 years ago
7 replies
443 reads
Vishal Subraman...
2005

Hey,
Most Ixd discussions in this group are related to web/desktop
applications. Wondering if anyone working with design of physical
product is here? Looking to start a general dialogue specifically in
this area.

Any information on groups/ associations specifically in this area would
be greatly appreciated.

Vishal

Comments

4 Nov 2005 - 1:34pm
Hari Vepadharma...
2005

Its nice that someone brought this topic.

This book "Mobile Usability" written by some of Nokia's designers and
engineers explains how and why they designed some of the concepts for their
mobile phones, covering interaction and industrial design.

Tektronix is a company that works on the hard and soft side of things. It
blends industrial and interaction design in some of its products. I have
seen people from human factors, industrial design, interaction design,
software engineering, marketing and sales working together. They work in
highly complex technological environments. Similarly, Intel has a team
working like that. Check
http://www.intel.com/technology/magazine/research/user-centered-innovation-0405.htm

Another place where there is a focus on industrial and interaction design is
the cockpit. Just to get a hang of it, you can find the paper "Collaboration
in the Flightdeck: Opportunities for Interaction Design" at
http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/~anneb/collwn.pdf

This link
http://stanford-online.stanford.edu/courses/cs547/031003-cs547-100.asx takes
you to a presentation "Designing Technology" by Bill Moggridge of IDEO,
given at Stanford. There are a lot of other videos at
http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/students/murl_cs547.htm

Also, try a different perspective -
http://www.vrac.iastate.edu/research/index.php

--Hari--

7 Nov 2005 - 10:46am
ldebett
2004

Hi Vishal...

Yes!!!

I'd love to be chatting more about physical product design! Many of the
people on this list are involved in web/software application development and
so the conversations reflect their interests. I enjoy learning from the
discussions, but not a great deal is applicable to my work. I've been
working on products for about 10 years now and it is quite a different
development process. We don't have the same luxuries of "go live now and
we'll fix it later". Our designs are rendered in steel, plastics and other
material, so we have to be sure we get it right the first time.

~Lisa

---------
Lisa deBettencourt
Sr. Interaction Designer
Bose Corporation

7 Nov 2005 - 11:10am
penguinstorm
2005

On Nov-7-2005, at 7:46 AM, Lisa deBettencourt wrote:

> Our designs are rendered in steel, plastics and other
> material, so we have to be sure we get it right the first time.

The Fast Company blog had an article from a few years ago about Oxo
that sort of made this point. It's a cute story:
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/99/oxo.html
--
Scott Nelson
skot at penguinstorm.com
http://www.penguinstorm.com/

skype. skot.nelson

7 Nov 2005 - 1:50pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

> We don't have the same luxuries of "go live now and
> we'll fix it later". Our designs are rendered in steel, plastics and
> other material, so we have to be sure we get it right the first time.

(Applause)

How do you make sure that happens? Say for my 5.1 speakers, I find the
different shapes (not just colors) for each of the speaker jacks that go
into the subwoofer to be very useful. Do you always build prototypes and
test them on users? If so, how many users do you test?

On the consumer side of the spectrum, how much importance do you think
is given to the IxD. My feeling is that for physical products, the two
most important factors are the features/ specs and looks. It's only
after they buy the product, that the interactions become obvious (and
important too).

S/w products however, are tested before they buy for their interactions
too. This maybe owing to the fact that trial versions can be released
for people to use it and see how it works for them.

What say?

Vishal
http://vishaliyer.com

Lisa deBettencourt wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi Vishal...
>
> Yes!!!
>
> I'd love to be chatting more about physical product design! Many of the
> people on this list are involved in web/software application development and
> so the conversations reflect their interests. I enjoy learning from the
> discussions, but not a great deal is applicable to my work. I've been
> working on products for about 10 years now and it is quite a different
> development process. We don't have the same luxuries of "go live now and
> we'll fix it later". Our designs are rendered in steel, plastics and other
> material, so we have to be sure we get it right the first time.
>
> ~Lisa
>
> ---------
> Lisa deBettencourt
> Sr. Interaction Designer
> Bose Corporation
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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7 Nov 2005 - 2:00pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

Here is an example of how the same Ixd principles can be used for both
s/w and h/w systems. Topic in question: System Design. Also shows how
IxD when viewed from higher levels of abstraction, can actually have
undertones of a business process.

Article 1: From Nielson's alertbox- Enterprise Usability
link: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/enterprise.html

Article 2: David Hoffer's (from Frog Design) article on Gizmodo:
Designing Technology Systems: The Evolution of Increasing Complexity
link: http://us.gizmodo.com/gadgets/columns/frog-design-mind-134857.php

Vishal
http://vishaliyer.com

Lisa deBettencourt wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hi Vishal...
>
> Yes!!!
>
> I'd love to be chatting more about physical product design! Many of the
> people on this list are involved in web/software application development and
> so the conversations reflect their interests. I enjoy learning from the
> discussions, but not a great deal is applicable to my work. I've been
> working on products for about 10 years now and it is quite a different
> development process. We don't have the same luxuries of "go live now and
> we'll fix it later". Our designs are rendered in steel, plastics and other
> material, so we have to be sure we get it right the first time.
>
> ~Lisa
>
> ---------
> Lisa deBettencourt
> Sr. Interaction Designer
> Bose Corporation
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

7 Nov 2005 - 2:59pm
ldebett
2004

> How do you make sure that happens?

Well, lots of prototyping, testing, observations, and hopefully common
sense. ;-) We run tests with 8-10 people per, and cover portions of the
UI/UX, not the whole thing. And then comes the tough part - selling ideas
w/i the organization.

For things like speaker jacks, you're dealing with a commodity item: things
that come in packs - two fer, four fer, six fer, etc. and you need to work
with purchasing to make sure you get not only the right ones (colors, shapes
included) but that if you want to create a custom one, you better be sure
there's a good reason for the company to pay more for it. It's a tough sell.

For custom Bose jacks, we have more freedom. We're not competing with
standards that are already out there. For example, the speaker plugs are
oval with a notch so that you know which way they go into the back of the
speaker. They also have been custom molded with letters on the plugs at each
end of the cable (R, L, C) so you know which cable you have in your hand
when you're setting them up. It's really a nice touch. That was done way
back before a UI group was formed. The company believes in simplicity and
managing wiring was a huge project from the beginning.

The Ix/UI people work closely with the Industrial Designers. They all sit in
the same room, actually. The ID guys/gals are interested in beauty, symmetry
and Design as well as manufacturability. We're interested in usability in
the light (by sight) and dark (by touch) - which can actually make a design
really ugly. You have to find a balance.

Prototyping is a huge part of our design process too - it's like when
Frankenstein wakes up for us. You have no idea what your designs will be
like until you interact with them in a prototype. Then, all your flaws are
there for the world to see and experience. Before that, they're just words,
flow charts and screen shots. That's when the really hard work begins...

~Lisa

7 Nov 2005 - 3:05pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Lisa, something that people might find interesting is if you talk a bit
about how screen design and form design come together through the
prototyping process. How do you prototype and test the I/O components w/ the
software and such?

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

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