Beautiful Users: Designing for People
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In the mid-twentieth century, Henry Dreyfuss—widely considered the father of industrial design—pioneered a user-centered approach to design that focuses on studying people's behaviors and attitudes as a key first step in developing successful products. In the intervening years, user-centered design has expanded to undertake the needs of differently abled users and global populations as well as the design of complex systems and services. Beautiful Users explores the changing relationship between designers and users and considers a range of design methodologies and practices, from user research to hacking, open source, and the maker culture.
design. As director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2010–12, Moggridge inspired us to reinvent our own design processes. We will always remember this friend and thinker for his warmth, humanity, and inventive intellect. Cooper Hewitt’s new director, Caroline Baumann, has galvanized the museum’s staff and board around a reinvigorated, audience-centered vision in our renovated facilities. Cara McCarty, Cooper Hewitt’s curatorial director and an early advocate for universal design, has
Ghost Flatware, Source Material, and Prototypes, 2007. Designed by Constantin Boym (Russian, b. 1955) and Laurene Leon Boym (American, b. 1964), Boym Studio (USA). Manufactured by Gourmet Settings (Canada). Plastic, cardboard, foamcore, 3D-printed plastic, stamped metal, stainless steel. Courtesy of the designers. Photography: Matt Flynn. The details of GS Army are inspired by cheap flatware purchased in an army surplus store. The designers were attracted to these simple, utilitarian pieces
the various states of Neato’s operation, ranging from wake-up and sleep tones to utilitarian warnings and alerts. To avoid fatiguing users, the interface employs full tones and melodies sparingly. Neato makes a unique sound when it encounters a person or gets trapped or lost from the base unit; each sound implies a subtle emotion or attitude. Early prototypes for Neato feature large-scale LED graphics that glow through the plastic skin, an innovative display concept that informed the current
Steinfeld, Edward, Steven Schroeder, James Duncan, Rolf Faste, Deborah Chollett, Marilyn Bishop, Peter Wirth, and Paul Cardell. Access to the Built Environment: A Review of Literature. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1979. https://archive.org/details/accesstothebuilt003372mbp. Lidwell, William, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler. Universal Principles of Design. Gloucester, MA: Rockport Publishers, 2003. Williamson, Beth. “Getting a Grip: Disability in American
ergonomics) to products, services, and interfaces in order to address the needs of human users. Beautiful Users explores the ethos of “designing for people,” a phrase devised by pioneering industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss after World War II. Home to the Dreyfuss Archive, Cooper Hewitt organized the first monographic exhibition of his career in 1997. Beautiful Users presents a selection of Dreyfuss’s projects within the broader evolution of user-centered design, a field that now encompasses