People-Centered Design - Why it matters? IST Distinguished Lecture

Don Norman

July 7th 2017 at 14:30h

@ Centro de Congressos, IST

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At the new Design Lab at UC San Diego, Design is a way of thinking, understanding people real, fundamental needs, and designing systems that fulfll those needs in an understandable, enjoyable manner.

Does it matter? Yes. Medical error is the second largest cause of death in healthcare (alongside cancer and heart attack). And most of this error is caused by poor design of instruments, devices, and procedures.

Autonomous cars promise to save lives, but how do pedestrians interact when the cars have no drivers?

In this lecture, I describe some of the problems we are studying, including healthcare and autonomous automobiles, showing how we approach these issues.

We practice a philosophy of people-centered design where we start by observation, then progress to deep analysis of the underlying issues, to rapid prototypes (in hours), testing, and continual iteration. Engineers and computer scientists need to understand these principles. Engineers often make the mistake of being far too logical. What do I mean? Come to the discussion.

Short Bio | Don Norman is Founder and Director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego. He was co-founder and frst chair of the Cognitive Science Department and prior to that, chair of Psychology.

He has been a Vice President of Advanced technology at Apple and an executive at HP. He is co-founder and principal of the Nielsen Norman group, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cognitive Science Society, ACM, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and Design Research Society. He is an IDEO fellow, and a trustee of IIT’s Institute of design.

He serves on company boards, has honorary degrees from Delft, Padua, and San Marino, the lifetime achievement award from ACM’s Computer-Human Interaction group, and the President’s lifetime achievement award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He has published 20 books translated into 20 languages including Emotional Design and Design of Everyday Things. He can be found at