HCDI seminar Dan Lockton June 2011

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Seminar series at the Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI), London
Website: http://hcdi.brunel.ac.uk/

The Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI) brings together a group of experts from four Brunel University Schools who develop the knowledge and skills required to design products, services and systems which are physically, perceptually, cognitively and emotionally intuitive.

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  • The problem – and its solutions – seem to lie at the intersection of design and psychology with lots of other fields, in a corner of human factors not too well explored yet, applying ideas from Human-Computer Interaction to systems that are not necessarily computers (I tried to draw a Venn diagram but failed!).
  • We need some kind of method or guide, to serve as both an inspiration tool for suggesting concepts in the first place, and as a reference – a design pattern library – so we can see what’s been tried before, in different contexts, and how well it worked. Other areas of design and computer science have them: we need one too. It’s something along these lines that I’ve been working on for the last 18 months or so.
  • So, you can see that it’s possible to generate lots of concepts to address a brief like this by using the patterns as inspiration – stimulus material. Whether the quantity – and quality – of the ideas is better or worse than not using this approach is something we need to test. We’ve got workshop sessions lined up next month with both designers in consultancies and students to test this, comparing conventional brainstorming with using these patterns as inspiration – and also with an additional layer of method, which I’ll get onto in a minute.
  • Much like we’re seeing with Persuasive Technology, it should apply across lots of fields, but we’ve chosen to apply it to environmental problems: influencing more sustainable user behaviour. Before I start, hands up if you consider yourself to be a designer, or a creative person in one form or another? OK, thanks: I’ll be asking for your help later on, everyone’s help, in fact.
  • I understand electric kettles are more common in Europe than the US, but the statistics speak for themselves:
  • In the UK, 1.27 TWh is wasted each year due to unnecessary overfilling of kettles.
  • That’s enough electricity to run almost all the UK’s street lighting, wasted each year because of, effectively, mindless user behaviour.
  • So what can we do about it? You can use tax incentives and education programmes like the one you can see here to try to get people to change what they do – and this is often the route that governments take on everything from health to crime to the environment – but Persuasive Technology offers us a more subtle and perhaps more sustainable method of intervention: designing products and systems and services which influence user behaviour.
  • HCDI seminar Dan Lockton June 2011

    1. 114. Image credits Screenshots of 'A Clockwork Orange', 1971, copyright Warner Bros Screenshots of ESTA website, CarbonCulture energy graph for DECC, Act on CO2 website and Barbarian Group blog, BBC News story, Twitter, Alexander Ambridge’s Twist kettle, Slashdot, Digg, Yahoo! Savings calculator; GreenPrint software (promotional video): https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov ; http://www.carbonculture.net/orgs/decc/whitehall-place/ ; http://actonco2.direct.gov.uk/actonco2/home.html ; http://www.barbariangroup.com/posts ; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12097225 ; http://twitter.com/yourlocalgp ; http://madeinbrunel.com/projects/twist/ ; http://slashdot.org ; http://digg.com ; http://finance.yahoo.com/calculator/index ; http://www.printgreener.com Creative Commons-licensed images from Flickr: People sitting on steps, Paris, by DanielMitD - http://www.flickr.com/photos/storkka/1468539623 Potter's wheel by seeks2dream - http://www.flickr.com/photos/seeks2dream Coffee mug in CD drawer from thereifixedit.com; Tortilla chips in photocopier drawer and 'Please wash your own dishes' sign from MthruF.com; Modal dialogue box from MSDN article, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511267%28v=MSDN.10%29.aspx ; Donor Card by Adrienne Hart-Davis - http://gallery.hd.org/_c/medicine/donor-card-and-cards-and-money-AHD.jpg.html ; Japan Association poster via Ryan Coleman - http://tumblr.ryancoleman.ca/post/311234348/love-it-well-designed-poster-also-gets-people-to ; Manual of LEC Elan fridge - http://www.unipol.leeds.ac.uk/Housing/About_your_tenancy/applianceguides/fridgefreezer/LEC.pdf All other photos / images by Dan Lockton, and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Sharealike licence.

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