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Panelist B.J. Fogg, a psychologist who founded Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, summarized the issue by saying that “every possibility you add to an interface increases your likelihood of failure” in the marketplace.
Tim Plowman, a professor who has studied human behavior at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University, addressed the basic issue of convincing designers to devise interfaces that are intuitively accessible to users of all ages and levels of technical sophistication. “It is much, much harder,” he said, “to achieve simplicity in interaction design.”
Despite the difficulties, however, said moderator Junko Yoshida, news editor of EE Times, ease of use has become a “grave issue” in engineering. Designers, she said, must “listen to the SOS from consumers.”
The forum was sponsored by the MIT Club of Northern California and developed by the SmartSilvers Alliance, an organization concerned with technology accessibility issues among the elderly.
Bill Moggridge, founder of IDEO, a firm that designs user-centered products and services, noted that older users are slower to adapt to electronic device complexity because older users are more complex themselves, with “more things on our minds.” He said, “Among us wrinklies, it’s less likely that we’ll get it right away, unlike younger people.”
It all gets back to desining for your customers, not yourselves. In journalism, we are undergoing a major revolution in deconstructing the forms of stories—print, 3,6, 9 column stories, etc. written by one or two people—to embrace online conversations where the audience participates in the creation of a line of coverage. Technology, open-source and web 2.0 are pushing the same kind of trends in design and innovation. Ditto for business organization.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.