Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Unreal eyeballs

Here is a recent development by the good folks at MIT.

Helping the blind see and giving our fine soldiers night vision and out secret spies xray vision.

However many useful and cool advancements are made in technology, there will always have to be designers to make it possible for people to actually use.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, better be careful with that one. I got into a somewhat heated argument with some engineers. Somebody said: "Engineers make stuff. Designers make stuff for the user." A shitstorm ensued. But really, both the engineer and the designer have to think about the people who use their product. "An engineer that does not think of the end user is a bad engineer", as they put it.

    I've been trying to fit 'the designer' into the grand scheme of things, and I think the designer is the one that does the market research and hence come up with a lot of different ideas, all the while giving the vague concepts ("it has to be...accessible) a physical shape. The engineer, taking our whimsical concepts (think concept car drawings, or some really good-looking marker renderings Harry Mahler would do) uses available technology and turns it into something that works. And then we say "Holy shit, it works!" Then both parties would go back and forth, refining the product, all the while keeping the final user in mind. When both parties are (reasonably) happy, the product is launched.

    Keep in mind the above is just an extrapolation of my limited experience, but I think there must be a synergy between designers and engineers. Matt, I know you are not discounting the work they do (otherwise you wouldn't say "the good folks at MIT") but I'm just trying to unseat the assumption that only designers can make things usable for lay people. Engineers have to take design courses to , y'know :)