Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What have I learnt from my 1 yr old?



Infancy is the most fascinating and wonderful time in the entire life. You know nothing and you are trying to grasp your environment.
The way kids interact with their surrounding objects and environment is the most natural way. Or should I say they expect the objects to behave in certain way when they interact with them. Well this is true for all of us of any age. But by now we have gathered lot of information about world that half of our problem is solved.
However this not at all means they we design products keeping the mindset and knowledge base of a kid in mind. Don't we design keeping the age group in mind?
The question is if we design products for certain age-groups the product usage for that age group is over after some time. If the product doesn't evolve with time, with the persona (representative of target audience), the product is going to fade and user is going to switch to next generation, probably a different product.
The way human brain evolves with time, the product should also age and gather knowledge to supplement the needs over a period of time.

Well, I digressed from the topic a bit ! My 1.5 year old looks at every object around her with curiosity and expects it to behave in some way. I found some objects to be intuitive enough to her, or may be she has learnt this from observing. Bangles, she takes and directly put them in her hand. But the next moment she puts them in her ankle. Well though bangles are not supposed to be worn in ankles (anklets are supposed to be worn) the very form of bangles suggest her to put it in some holding form. This is apt nature of a tangible static product. A well designed product will suggest its user of how to use it.

However, Digital products and interfaces pose a challenge, in a way that they have lot of hidden forms. They reveal lot of pages/forms as we use them. But what if they take the form of the current requirement of the user?
The gist of the post is to design products that evolve like kids, few trial and error, learning, gathering knowledge base and adapting to the user and not vice versa.

1 comment:

Ipsky said...

You write well Kumar. Interesting thoughts on what makes you tick these days. Keep it up! Best...