Category Archives: Product Development

At 90, She’s Designing Tech For Aging Boomers

Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO who works with engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people.

NPR just posted this article about a 90-year-old woman recently hired as a designer at IDEO.

What a great idea! As designers, our job is to understand and design for our intended audience. However, older designers may have problems identifying with younger users and younger designers may not really understand what elder users are going through. As our population ages, designing for elderly eyes, hands, bodies and minds is a challenging situation.

My colleagues at Pearson Education, led by Lisa Maurer, Design Research manager, have recently implemented KidsTeam, where schoolchildren actively participate in the design and research of Pearson’s educational products.

IDEO’s hiring elderly designers takes this approach for designing for the other end of the age spectrum.

Both programs show that user-centered design and research is alive and well in the User Experience (UX) community.

Your thoughts?

John Karlin, Father of Touch-Tone Dialing, Dies

An obituary in the New York Times highlight’s John Karlin’s historic influence on digital dialing. Karlin died on January 28 at the age of 94. Ed Israelski, a well-know human factors professional, was fortunate to work under Karlin at Bell Labs. Karlin designed the famous (or infamous) telephone keypad layout. He also conducted innovative researchContinue Reading

Who owns your UX philosophy?

“I’ve been in three board meetings in the last month where it was painfully apparent that there wasn’t a person in the company who owned the UX philosophy of the product. I’m explicitly saying “UX” (user experience) rather than “UI” (user interface) as each company had an excellent designer and the application looked great. ButContinue Reading

User Experience Experts are in Demand

As an independent user experience (UX) consultant, this year has been very busy, with more and more companies and clients realizing that user experience and usability is a critical component of any product or device’s design and and development process. Want to know more details on the resurgence of user experience? Check it out onContinue Reading

EMR Usability – Standardization vs Usability and Innovation

This is a classic debate – whether it is nobler to be consistent or to be usable! EMRs have notoriously been both inconsistent and also very unusable. So, what to do – fix the inconsistencies or fix the usability issues? The problem is, fixing one of these issues doesn’t necessarily fix the other! Here’s anContinue Reading

User Experience Myths

Similar to the “Golden Rules” of user experience design that I have written about and cover in my presentations and seminars, there are many common myths about users and the user experience. Some myths have been around for many years, such as the myth, “You may not have more than 7 +/- 2 items inContinue Reading

Why are User Experience (UX) and User-Centered Design (UCD) getting a bad rap?

There have been a number of recent articles, blog posts and list comments trashing user experience design (UX) as unneeded, misguided and counter-productive to good product design and development. As a long-time user experience practitioner, I was taken aback by these attack from many sides. However, as my partner at Success PragmatiQ, Larry Marine, and IContinue Reading

Mandel presents to Denver University’s Daniels College of Business on “Golden Rules of Web Design”

  Theo Mandel, Ph.D. gives an invited presentation – “Golden Rules of Web Design” – to a Digital Marketing graduate course at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver September 27, 2010 Denver, Colorado

Theo Mandel and Larry Marine present “Agile – When Theory Meets Reality” at RM PDMA

Theo Mandel and Larry Marine present “Agile – When Theory Meets Reality” at the Rocky Mountain PDMA monthly meeting on September 16, 2010. Larry Marine, NPDP, is President at Intuitive Design Group and member of RM PDMA. The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is the premier global advocate for product development and management professionals. Our missionContinue Reading