Thursday, January 10, 2013

User-centered Design

I used to work with engineers who talked a lot about user-centered design. User-centered design is when the end-user of a device or environment drives the design process.  Most of us who like interior design would say "duh." to this concept.  Of course the needs of the user (or client if we're talking about interior design) are considered when every decision is made.

I saw something this morning that made me chuckle a little bit.  A new dining hall is set to open at the university in my town. I've watched the renovation of the building with interest and they've done a beautiful job inside and out.  One thing, however, caught my eye and I can't get over it.  The choice of seating in this picture is that thing:

From Facebook with the caption "Pull up a stool - they are really comfy!"

How this space gets used remains to be seen, but I'm envisioning students with backpacks and trays or cups of coffee sitting here for a quick snack.  Are they likely to "pull up a stool" as the caption says?  In my user-oriented mind, I see these things being kicked around by students who don't have free hands to push blocks around.

I assure you that this space is beautiful compared to what was here before. I think it looks great. The stools raised my eyebrow.

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2 comments:

  1. Wow! It's crazy to see how much things have changed since I left just 2 years ago. Those stools are definitely interesting :)

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  2. Wow! Before I even got to the section where you revealed what was wrong, I had already thought to myself that those stools suck! Maybe it's because I'm an architect :)

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