The idea of human-centrism is blurry. Human complexity is too broad as a center point. Design for enhancing human ability can sharpen focus on human-centered design and connect products to a deeper human layer.

The role of design is consequently evolving. From initially being a domain of communication with a predominant aesthetic focus design has taken a key role in the creation of products and has become a human advocacy. Design has moved into the C-Suite with the appointment of Chief Design Officers (CDO) while Design Thinking shifted the focus from technical to human solutions by advocating human-centrism.

Google Home and Amazon Echo

Yay, we killed Skeuomorphism!

Not too long ago humanity left behind its skeuomorphic interfaces. We became accustomed to the idea of buttons to tap on screens and swipes that moved content right or left. We learned that content could be out of view but within reach. We graduated to a flatter, more abstract representation that still inherits spatial metaphors and relationships but that are communicated more subtly and implicitly. We stripped our visual interfaces off their ornamentations to allow a more authentic approach to visual aesthetics.

Design Thinking continues to be a hot topic (this article is one of many talking about it). Design Thinking has been hyped and even fetishized but there are also voices questioning its value, impact, and relevance. Design Thinking faces criticism for its lacking integration with business and compatibility with market reality. There are organizations that see Design Thinking as unnecessary rather than essential to driving organizational change and innovation. Does Design Thinking have to be reinvented or even replaced?

Here is why not.

The Misperception of Design Thinking

Design Thinking is being widely misunderstood. It is often associated exclusively with the design discipline or seen…

The relationship between humans and machines is continuously evolving. With the rise of the IoT and the Industrial IoT (IIoT), machines are becoming increasingly self-aware and interconnected. Designing for a future where machines are even more deeply integrated into human life, requires us to understand the nature of machines, their role in creating value for humans, and ultimately how machines form an essential part of human evolution with the human in the center of an ecosystem of devices, and tools that we have created around us and that will consequently keep growing.

The Machine

Humans started using machines about 750,000 years ago…

A discourse on how the paradigms of industrial design and other design disciplines apply equally to digital products — specifically the screen-based user interface (in German).

0 Einleitung

Der Begriff der Haptik wird im Titel dieser Arbeit kontrastierend dem Begriff des Interfaces gegenübergestellt. Während Haptik im klassischen Sinne als etwas physisch Greifbares verstanden wird, stellt das Interface als interaktive Benutzeroberfläche lediglich eine abstrakte Visualisierung dar. Der gebrauchende Umgang mit dem Interface bedarf eines Verstehens seiner Funktionsweise — das Begreifen von Interaktion. Im Mittelpunkt dieser Arbeit stehen die Erläuterung und Illustrierung von Paradigmen der Gestaltung von Interfaces und Interaktionskonstrukten im Allgemeinen. Hierbei werden…

A perfect product connects to a fundamentally human domain – it can cause delight in an almost mystical manner. Any consumer product that exists in this world is created to address humans needs. Human needs derive from the most profound layers of human existence. Products that are able to articulate that connection will be perceived as something utterly desirable by humans. By consistently making reference to the essence of why a product is being created, what problem it solves, what human need it addresses, the product will be simple, authentic and meaningful.

The Importance of the Artifact

Humans relate to physical artifacts in a deeply…

Bert Brautigam

Interaction Designer @ Google

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store