Posted by: bbannan | April 2, 2009

Design experience/usability – Carl

Am a big fan of the Financial Times and came across this great article on design “How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company” by Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery, Russ Hall. (This is the link- ). I find this great article very interesting and though we are far gone with our various projects, it’s not too late to make amendments out of the information gathered from the first round of usability. “When it’s all said and done, your customer doesn’t care about your process. In the end, none of this matters if the design experience is wrong”. This quote reiterates the fact that all our effects will be in vain unless you critically analyze and take steps to solve problems that came up during your usability data collection stage. The case of Motorola Razr cell phone mentioned in the article still bring back memories of that phone when it first came out in the year 2005 but where is the Razr now. Unlike the Razr, Apple has been able to continue with that success. You will all bear with me that apple users just fall in love with their products so much that they find it difficult switching to other brands. And that confirms the quote “Effective design establishes the emotional relationship you develop with a brand through the total experience, to which a service or product provides a portal.”

“Design is everyone’s job. Doing good design takes more than good designers. It takes a commitment from everybody in the company—soup to nuts, end to end.”

This article takes us virtually through everything we have learned both in EDIT 730 last through to EDIT 752 this semester. This is purely design through observation of the user experience. I hope you enjoy the article.

Your comments?



  1. This is a good point to make. Not only will a bad design sink an otherwise good product, but a good design will elevate a bad product. Looking at Apple, and the iPhone in particular, you can see how excellent design wins over customers. I know several people with iphones, they all don’t like AT&T’s cell phone service. I used to have AT&T, and I switched because the service was spotty, I’ve more than once considered going back so that I could get an iphone. The reason is that the phone is just so cool, and does so many neat things, that the user overlooks it’s faults.

    I would also argue that design can’t be your only concern, while a nice design is important and will get you a long way, it has to be supported. That raises the point that the author makes about design being an, “icon that is a portal to an experience.” The iphone (and apple in general) represent a slick design that is supported with good functionality (the app system in the iphone makes it stand out). That brings up the Motorola example, and in particular the Razr. Nice design, but a lack of, “design culture,” at Motorola – that resulted in the inventor of the mobile phone considering moving away from mobile technology.

    The implications on instructional design are all over the place. We concentrate on accurate content, and how to design the instruction within a set of requirements. I think in the commercial training world, we overlook being truly innovative, in favor of safely delivering a product that will fulfill customer needs. I would be interested to see what sorts of internal training is done at Apple. I would think that the design culture that is so apparent would in turn extend to training. Solid design can take good content and make it excellent, we just have to think about design at a more systematic level.

    Thanks for this article, Carl. It was a good read, and I’d be curious to see what else the author has to say in the rest of the book.

  2. Hi Carl,
    Great article. I really enjoy reading it.
    I like how they ask the question about the IPOD take away everything it offers -is it still in Ipod ?
    “No, it’s not, because an iPod is a portal to a kaleidoscope of experience. An iPod is not just an object. The object is an icon that is a portal to an experience.”
    Some of the best designs I have seen are the simple ones. The classic styles have stayed the same only improvements or options have been modified;such as the basic coffee pot-same concept where has the modification been made -will now we have timers that will start automatically if you program your coffee to start brewing at 6AM, or get the regular coffee pot that has nothing but an on/off button, same concept of making the coffee.
    I love Ikea so I like that they mentiion them. Simple nice design and affordable.
    It is like that saying-(KISS) keep it short and simple.
    I found this article that discusses about how consumers get overwhelmed with to many options that some objects/items offer, who has time to firgure something out? I know I don’t unless your a digital native;-)
    Thanks for sharing-

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