One hears often that engineers and entrepreneurs must practice “human-centered design”.
The problem is that this is often presented as an “attitude” that they must adopt and never as a deep and broad field of knowledge they must be immersed in.
This almost certainly stems from the increasing disrespect for the humanities.
Hello, “human centered design” is simply about respecting anthropology as a discipline with relevant things to say about modern life!
Take for example my recent observation about hotel bathroom showers and sinks, which happened merely through a fluke of curiosity. I went further to contact a number of other frequent hotel stayers and humbly pleaded with them to record their observations.
We discovered, as a collective, that when the handle of a faucet requires a screwing rather than lifting/pressing action to open and shut the tap, we invariably left the water running during our various ablutions five times longer.
Furthermore, whenever the shower had a temperature calibrator with visible numbers, the vast majority of us left the dial at 40 Degrees Celsius and rarely tampered with it. When it lacked a dial, we frequently overheated the water.
Both experiments proved that hotels could save millions of liters of water and cubic feet of gas simply through the deliberate selection of certain faucet handles and temperature dials over others.
Can anyone deny that such a didactic approach can grow the knowledge base for sound environmental engineering, and by so doing actually *generate impact*? Bear in mind, that none of us were particularly environmentally conscious about these matters upon the onset of the experiment.
In matters of design, knowledge trumps attitude.
Good bllog post