Irredeemable 2-spacers (aka teaching outmoded skills)

A little while back, our office had a rather lively email debate about how many spaces should be typed after a period—no, I’m not joking, this actually happened. Anyway, about half of those chiming in claimed it should be a single space and the other half insisted on two. It must have been a slow […]

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bacterial robot 2

Are we just biological robots?

In the last month there have been a couple articles about the bacteria in our bodies that caught our attention. The average human body contains about 6 pounds of bacteria. That much bacteria has over two million genes, completely dwarfing the 23,000 genes in the human genome. ‘‘We are, at least from the standpoint of […]

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But we’re all designers!

Sooner or later, everyone who works in design hears something along the lines of but we’re all designers – usually from a Project Manager who didn’t agree with the designer and wanted to go in a different direction. Of course, it’s true. We do all design. Most of us have designed the layout of the furniture […]

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micros - one

Selecting a microcontroller

These days product design typically involves sensors, LEDs, displays, buttons or a touch screen, sound, data logging, and wireless connectivity. The lowest cost, lowest power, most flexible, and most compact approach to implement all of this is almost always a micro-controller. A microcontroller is a processor – a computer – that includes its program, memory […]

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Designing for the age enhanced: touch and proprioception

When I started our Designing for the Age Enhanced series, I thought the articles would informative and fun to write. But, since I’m in my 40s, I have to admit that being reminded about how bad my eyes and ears are already getting, what’s going to happen to my senses of smell and taste, and […]

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design research on a dime

Why do design research
Part 2:
How to get design research on a dime (and a deadline)

In Part 1, “Why do design research: Deconstructing the excuses,” we examined the reasons people often give for eliminating design research from product development when budgets and schedules get tight. We’ve hopefully shown you why those reasons are flawed and why design research is a critical step in the process. However, knowing the criticality of […]

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Designing for the age enhanced: taste and smell

Welcome to the latest article in our “Designing for the Age Enhanced” series — which internally we’ve started referring to as the “Getting Older Sucks” series. We’ve already talked about what happens to our senses of sight and hearing as we age and some of the mental slowdowns that we experience, and, of course, how these […]

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Why do design research
Part 1: Deconstructing the excuses

It happens. A project has a tight budget or schedule or (gasp) both and the team decides something has to go. Design research is often that something. On the surface, eliminating research is easy to justify: We’re the experts in what we do! After so many years in our space, we already know our users […]

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“But we only use 10% of our brains!”

“It is estimated most human beings only use 10% of their brain’s capacity.” That’s a line from Morgan Freeman’s character in the new Sci-Fi movie Lucy, coming out this summer. It’s a sentiment I’ve heard repeated by CEOs; it regularly pops up in commercials; and yes, it is a perpetual favorite of Hollywood (Heroes, Flight of […]

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Silence is deadly

My posts always argue that as designers (and engineers, manufacturers, etc), we have a responsibility to create smart, beautiful, and useful products for our users. But lately, I’ve realized that users have a responsibility, too. As an OmniPod user, I failed at mine. Recently Insulet Corporation and Abbott Diabetes Care issued a recall of the […]

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