In this video, John Maeda discusses and defines design for technology and business. Learn how wider use of technology by non-technologists necessitates better design.
- When we think about technology companies, it's kind of easy to think about them, because they're technology companies. Technology is beautiful. It sells. It scales. It's wonderful. And, 20 years ago, that's all you needed to sell technology. But, nowadays regular people use technology, use the services of these companies. So, design is now becoming important, not because it's some new discovery. It's because more people are using technology, non-technologists are using it.
Used to be, like in the eighties, the nineties, we nerds, I'm using the "we" here, we knew how to write software. We could barely get software to run, and if it worked, we were like, "thank you," and it didn't have to be great, because it worked. That world vanished, because the average consumer began to use software. The average consumer will not tolerate a command line interface, or hard to understand, things to click on, etc.
They want something easier to use, more pleasant to use. So, in the past, nerds ruled. In the present, nerds kind of rule, but they have to design for somebody else called the entire planet. So, design in it's simplest form is the humanization of a technology that's become commoditized. Once it's in use by everyone, design becomes valuable.
But, if it's not used by everyone, design doesn't matter at all. Think of the automobile. There was a time when nobody had a car. Over time, everybody had a car. Once everybody had a car, the car had to be something more than just transportation. It had to be, "how do I look? How do I feel? How does it feel?" Those dimensions are design dimensions, not technology dimensions. So, computers were utilitarian, now they're commoditized, and in this new era, design matters.
People often want to know what design is. The question is what design isn't. It turns out design is a poorly designed word, because it means so many things. It's like duct tape. On the one hand, it could mean the design of my hair. It could be the design of my shirt. It could be the design of a new Six Sigma process. It means so many things. That's why it's hard to understand design. In the context of business, however, design is the creation of value on a product, in a product, that doesn't have to do with the actual raw materials.
It's an extra value add that is a result of a lot of thinking, and making, and iterating, so that those raw materials are now 10 times more valuable.
- Defining design
- Designing for a wider audience
- Linking inclusion and design
- Discovering your own lacunas
- Attaining the inclusion mindset